We are struggling to ensure our communications are being heard by all employees. What could we be doing wrong?
Communication with employees is extremely important. As much as you communicate, you will likely never be told your business over communicates. However, we are a society that is on information overload. We have to cut through that overload to be sure the important messages are heard.
To ensure your employees are hearing your business communications, look at the communication methods you are using as well as the frequency. Different communication methods reach different individuals better. For example, based on the research for Robin Throckmorton, MA, SPHR, SCP and Linda Gravett, PhD, SPHR, CEQC’s book Bridging the Generation Gap, you need to use different communications to reach the preferred methods of each generation:
- Radio Babies (1930 – 1945) – Face to Face
- Baby Boomers (1946 – 1964) – Meetings
- Generation X (1965 – 1976) – Email
- Generation Y (1977 – 1991) – Text and Email
- Generation Z (1991 – present) – Text and Face to Face
Your business communication methods will need to cover multiple medias to ensure you are reaching everyone. And not everyone hears a message entirely the first time so you’ll need to repeat, repeat, repeat. Some say three times while others have said nine. Consider the frequency of your messages and be sure you are sending a critical message using multiple media’s at least three times to ensure your employees do hear it and that they heard it correctly.
You’ll also find employees hear a message if there is interaction. So, while sharing an update with your employees, be sure to include engagement and action on part of the employee. This may come in the form of feedback, open discussion, required response, etc.
Finally, the best way to communicate with your employees can be found with your employees. Ask them what methods they prefer.
We’ve never heard employees complain that their employer communicates “too much”. Communication is the backbone of a satisfied and productive workforce. However, providing adequate communication to a diverse group of employees who may require differing forms of communication isn’t always easy. Strategic HR has years of experience creating written communication for employees—including employee newsletters. Visit our Communications Page to learn how we can assist you with various communication-based projects.