Employee Communication: Definition
Employee communication is often defined as the sharing of information and ideas between the management of an organization and employees and vice versa.
It is essential for an organization’s success that there are many different channels available to communicate with your employees as well as your customers. Social media definitely has certainly increased the scope of communication.
With the advent of social media, the number of options for communication has increased. You can share information among your employees almost instantaneously. As the speed of communication increases the challenges for communicating effectively also change.
Email, face-to-face communication, live chats there are so many different channels for effective employee communication. But also, what works for one organization may not work for the others. You need to identify what mode of communication works perfectly within your organization.
Employee communication has changed over the years, in the past decade most parts of the communication was face-to-face. Now we have a plethora of different channels of communications.
Effective communication is where your employees are well informed and all the functions run smoothly in the organization. Organizations need to create a world-class, engaging communication program. They should leverage feedback received from the Human Resources department to improve their internal channels.
Learn more: Employee engagement survey questions template
Modes for employee communication
There are multiple channels that can be used for employee communication, but we have shortlisted these 3:
1. Traditional methods
Traditionally communicating with your employees has been a top-down process. Management creates policies, procedures, etc. and they are circulated amongst the employees. These traditional methods are only one way of communication.
To achieve desirable results it is important, channels of communication should be two ways. Papers and memos and traditional ways are all good, but the world is evolving and so should your practices.
All most all organizations across the globes communicate with their employees via emails or instant messaging for their daily communications. From updates to latest organizational developments your employees can stay informed and up to date at all times.
The advantage of emails messaging is the speed of communication and the ability to communicate with everyone in the organization at the same time. A big disadvantage though could be people assuming the tone.
3. Cell phones and social media
Your employees carry a very powerful tool of communication with them and that is the cell phone. These days phones are no longer attached to the desk. Cell phone technology enables your employees to stay in touch with whatever that is happening within the organization even if they work remotely.
One powerful platform that organizations have adopted as a part of employee communication is social media. Your employees can access these platforms from literally anywhere. These sites are definitely increasing the usage of handheld devices also allowing everyone to be constantly in touch with anything that goes around within the organization.
Learn more: Company communication evaluation survey template
Importance of effective employee communication
Employee communication is no rocket science, but if not done correctly can surely have a negative effect. But let’s not go that way, let’s keep things positive, here is how having effective employee communication benefits:
- Employee engagement: If you communicate regularly with your employees and in an effective manner they are much more engaged with the organization and have a more positive attitude towards their work and the organization.
- Consistency: If your employees understand know what they are wanting to achieve in a particular in the organization, you as an organization can see a much more consistent approach and less tendency of people coming up with interpretations of what they think of what you have said.
- Feedback: Regular communication invites people to get into a healthy discussion. Communication is a dialogue after all and dialogue would need two people communicating, expressing their concern or giving feedback. This facilitates a culture of sharing ideas and knowledge.
- Understanding of organizational goals: Effective communication helps employees understand how they can align their professional goals with that of the organization. They can understand how they can fit into a bigger picture.
- Change is the only constant: True! But are your employees adaptable to sudden changes? If the employees are communicated to effectively about the change around them they respond positively to it. It also helps identify champions in your organization, ones who are willing to accept change and rise.
5 tips to improve employee communication
Most organizations plan meticulously how to best engage their external audience, but they conveniently forget about their most important constituency: employees. High performing organizations make sure employee communication is their priority and this is one of the reasons they stand out!
Here are the top 5 tips to improve employee communication in your organization
1. Communicate with clarity
Overusing jargon or technical terms will only lead to more misunderstanding. Be clear while communicating.
2. Set the tone
Management and leadership of the organization need to set the tone right. The need to be accessible and they need to understand that there is a certain relation between strategic employee communications and organizational goal achievement.
3. Know your employees
You don’t need to communicate differently with different employees, you just need to know your employees. To understand the perception of your employees surveys them regularly.
4. Use multiple channels
Most people need to hear or read the message multiple, least the message is lost in translation. Distribute your message through various channels so that it reaches people well within time.
5. Measure the effectiveness
No communication should be without a set objective, else the purpose of communication is entirely lost. There are many ways to facilitate communication, but what’s the point if it falls on deaf ears. Make sure you regularly measure the engagement and ask employees if the communication strategy works.
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