Proper employee communication in the workplace has never been so important. Since the introduction of remote and hybrid work, organizations worldwide have become more aware of the importance of workplace communications in making employees more engaged and providing a better employee experience.
In this blog, you will learn about the best practices for boosting employee communications in your organization.
The Shift Towards Asynchronous Employee Communications
Before the pandemic, most employees depended on synchronous communication and real-time collaboration with their colleagues. Today, however, this is not the case anymore.
A survey from Pex Research showed that 70% of Americans were working from home at some point since the start of the outbreak.
Since then, many employers have learned that this transition wasn’t so hard for employees, and some have even seen significant increases in their employees’ engagement and productivity at work.
Hence, more flexible working environments are here to stay. To make them work, however, employers need to reconsider their employee communication strategies, embrace asynchronous communications, and ensure necessary technologies for their workers.
📹 Before we move forward, take a look at our Masterclass: Best Practices for Managers to Improve Internal Communications
How to Make Employee Communications Work in 2024 and Beyond
The shift towards asynchronous employee communications is forcing employers to adopt new best practices in order to keep employees well informed, eliminate organizational and cross-departmental silos, improve employee experience, and reduce information overload as much as possible.
According to research, 86% of corporate executives, employees, and educators cite lack of collaboration or ineffective communication for workplace failures.
Today, when the workforce is dispersed more than ever, the consequences of poor communication and collaboration in the workplace are even more obvious.
So let’s take a look into how to embrace employee communications in your workplace in 2024 and beyond.
💡 Before digging deeper, also read: Top 13 Communication Barriers and How to Tackle Them.
1. Enforce the importance of trust
As nicely put by Harvard Business Review:
“managers who cannot “see” their direct reports sometimes struggle to trust that their employees are indeed working… ultimately disrupting their work-home balance and causing more job stress.”
This research showed that 34% of employees agreed that their supervisors “expressed a lack of confidence in their work skills.”, and even more employees reported feeling that they needed to be constantly available which has a significant impact on employee wellbeing.
Employers need to put more effort into understanding manager communications principles and into building trust in the workplace in general.
When there is no trust, it is unrealistic to expect employees to engage with company communications.
2. Drive frequent, honest, and consistent communications
Manager to employee and peer to peer communications need to happen more often when we depend on asynchronous communications. Otherwise, teams and departments start working in silos, independently.
Company leaders and internal communications professionals should be the drivers of more frequent, honest, and consistent communication in the workplace.
According to a Gallup study, employee engagement increases when managers provide consistent and clear communication. Another study showed that 4 out of 5 employees surveyed wanted to hear more frequently from their bosses about how their company was doing, and more than 90% of employees surveyed said they would rather hear bad news than no news.
Furthermore, pay special attention to inconsistencies. If your internal and external communications are different, you will once again lose the trust of your employees.
3. Engage leaders more
Good leadership plays one of the most important roles in building a positive workplace culture and improving employee communication efforts. Throughout the last couple of years, we have seen some good examples in which leaders really acted as role models in their organizations.
Leaders also have a big power in preventing miscommunication in the workplace.
In one research, nearly 81% of employees indicated that miscommunication occurred in their organization very frequently, frequently, or occasionally.
Leadership, together with internal communications departments, have to monitor miscommunications frequently and serve as catalysts for fake information.
4. Make information more relevant and engaging
In order to make employee communications work in your organization, you need need to invest more time and effort into producing and distributing more relevant content to your audience.
Content irrelevancy is the most common reason for information overload and also for information loss.
A big portion of content and messages employees receive doesn’t resonate with their jobs and interests. Unfortunately, many enterprise employers still don’t have an adequate way to segment employees by various criteria such as job functions, departments, geolocation, languages, interest, and others.
As a consequence, they send irrelevant content that employees ignore.
For employee communications to work, content relevancy is crucial. If you can’t ensure that every employee gets the right message at the right time, all the benefits of asynchronous communication become irrelevant.
5. Encourage employees’ share of voice
Roughly half of the employees aren’t regularly speaking their minds at work. Only 52% of employees say that they always or almost always speak their minds when having work-related conversations with their leaders.
Bottom-up employee feedback and employees’ share of voice are the most important prerequisites for improving employee communications. Organizations in which employees feel free to share their voices, raise their concerns, and share their ideas have much healthier workplace cultures and a more engaged workforce.
This is exactly why most organizations have started implementing employee surveys to collect continuous employee feedback.
6. Provide a single source of truth and enable easy knowledge-sharing
According to research, a robust knowledge management system (KMS) can reduce the time lost in searching for information by up to 35% and even boost organization-wide productivity by 20-25%.
When employees are in the offices, it is much easier for them to share their knowledge. It is much easier to ask their colleagues for information that they need.
Proper workplace communication requires a different approach.
Today, every company should have a central knowledge database with all the important information accessible to every employee in a matter of seconds.
7. Introduce new channels based on employees’ interests
If you want your employees to engage in company conversations, consider creating communication channels and spaces designated for your employees to ask questions, comment on leadership announcements, engage with one another, and provide feedback.
For example, you could have departmental channels in which you can deliver relevant company news and updates for each of the departments.
You could have a WFH-tips channel in which employees can share and consume some good tips for working from home.
💡 Related: How to Build a Successful Communication Plan.
8. Don’t neglect the importance of technology
No matter the nature of your employees’ jobs, today, it is impossible to make employee communications work without the right employee communications technology.
Whether your employees work remotely, hybrid, or even if they are frontline employees, proper communication depends on the tools you provide them.
Modern employee communications apps are designed to enable organizations to implement the best and latest workplace communications practices. They help them deliver more personalized content in a more timely manner, provide a repository of important content accessible to everyone, measure the impact of employee communications on business success, get continuous feedback from every employee, and make employees more connected in general.
The Benefits of Proper Employee Communications [INFOGRAPHIC]
Today, communications professionals are one of the most important strategic business partners within organizations. Their role has extended into the areas of employee engagement, motivation, and productivity.
With the emergence of remote work, many organizations are trying to completely reshape their communication efforts and rebuild their employee communications plans.
Since the awareness of the importance of workplace communication culture is continuously increasing, employers’ appetites for improving communication and collaboration in their own organizations are also on the rise.
Top 12 Employee Communication Facts You Can’t Ignore
Clearly, communication in the workplace is more important than ever. Internal communication professionals have become one of the most important strategic business partners because of their impact on employee experience and productivity.
Let’s take a look at the top 12 statistics that prove the power of proper employee communications.
- According to the Connected culture report, 71% of those employees who said they were more productive feel well-connected to their colleagues.
- According to McKinsey’s report, employees who feel more included in workplace communication are almost 5 times more likely to report increased productivity.
- Miscommunication in the workplace can cost a company of 100 employees (or less) $420,000 per year.
- CMSWire reports that 97% of employees believe communication impacts their task efficacy on a daily basis.
- According to research, 28% of employees point at poor communication as the reason for breached deadlines.
- Think Talent report showed that mployees working in organizations with effective communication plans — i.e. ones that manage to minimize the silo effect and centralize communication — are 3.5 times more likely to outperform their peers.
- According to Lexicon, a high percentage of more than 80% of Americans believe employee communication is crucial for developing trust with employers.
- Workforce Institute study showed that 24% of employees who quit did that mainly because they didn’t feel trusted.
- According to Buffer’s report, collaboration and/or communication used to represent one of the biggest struggles of working from home.
- A report by Trade Press Services shows that as many as 85% of employees claim they are most motivated when regularly updated about company news and information.
- 86% of corporate executives, educators, and employees cite ineffective communication and poor collaboration as reasons for failures in the workplace.
- Harvard Business Review cites that 72% of employees feel their performance would improve if their managers were to provide corrective — sometimes also dubbed as “negative” — feedback.
Start Improving Employee Communications Today!
Communication systems in the workplace have become very complex. There are multiple communication channels organizations use to keep their employees updated and engaged and to leverage the benefits of multichannel workplace communications.
In order to improve and streamline employee communications, many organizations are now implementing new technologies that enable them to consolidate all those channels into a single platform.
Haiilo is one of the leading employee communications and advocacy solutions on the market. It enables enterprises to create, aggregate, and deliver personalized content to every employee. Peer-to-peer review website G2, which helps businesses find the best software, identifies Haiilo as the leader in their Employee Communications grid.