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Creating a Communication Plan

HR Question:

We are getting ready to roll out a new employee handbook, and I’ve been asked to create a Communication Plan. I’m not a marketer, what does such a plan entail?

HR Answer:

A Communication Plan is simply a roadmap for what and how you will communicate to those that need to know about your new employee handbook. There are some very simple elements you will need to include in your plan.

  1. Start by identifying your goal(s). What is your communication goal and how will you know you are successful?
  2. Determine the objectives; what message are you trying to convey (is there more than one), what are the results you want to achieve, and how can those results be best accomplished.
  3. Identify your audience. Who are you trying to influence, educate or communicate with? What type of communication do they prefer?
  4. Evaluate your current communication vehicles (i.e. newsletters, monthly meetings, email, bulletin boards) and how they are utilized. What tools will you use to communicate your message to your audience – you may need to add new methods of communication to adequately communicate your message. Make a list of the vehicles, their deadlines and the owner (i.e. the deadline for submitting an article to your company newsletter and the name of the editor).
  5. Create a list of tactics and timeframes needed for this plan and identify who is responsible for each step. Remember to use the correct communication vehicle to get the message across to your particular audience (this may require multiple types of communication if your audience is multi-generational). Setting these up in a calendar format makes it easy to stay on top of deadlines and see who is responsible for each item.
  6. Then determine how you will measure if the plan adequately accomplished the goals and objectives stated and provide for a “plan B” should you decide more communication is necessary.

This is a working document and may require revisions or updates as the plan progresses.

Communication often seems like a “no-brainer”. You have something to communicate and you just “do it”. But factor in multiple shifts or locations, off-site employees and a multigenerational workforce and you quickly learn that providing adequate communication to everyone you employ isn’t so easy. Strategic HR has years of experience writing for a diverse workforce; we even have a marketing/communications specialist on staff. Visit our Communications page to learn how we can assist you with various communication-based projects.