As HR personnel, we know the importance of clear, open and transparent employee communications. Messages from management and executives down through the ranks of employees need to convey useful information in ways that resonate. The delivery system has to be easy to use, so that remote employees and contractors can be kept in the loop. But any system, no matter how simple, can prove challenging when used infrequently. And that challenge extends to both the target audience and those assembling and distributing the message. A year-round communications approach keeps everything top of mind, from the technicalities of the communication system to the messages themselves.
Open enrollment is perhaps the most important time for employee communications from the HR department, but the policies and programs employees register for last a whole year. This is another reason why HR has to drive effective year-round communications. Go beyond insurance policy updates and share info and reminders for other benefits and programs to foster better employee engagement.
There are plenty of reasons to use a year-round communications strategy, so what else should you keep in mind if you’re going to fully commit to implementing one?
Employee Communications Need to Be Relevant
Draw up a communication calendar so you can deliver relevant information when employees need it. Highlight features of the benefits programs employees signed up for to ensure they have the resources to make the most of those benefits decisions, but pay attention to the calendar, too. Information about the tax ramifications of healthcare coverage and health savings accounts is typically most useful when employees are preparing their tax returns. That’s also a good time to message about financial wellness program benefits like meetings with financial advisors. Send reminders about completely covered preventative healthcare measures like flu shots ahead of flu season. Other reminders can be sent during quieter times on the calendar, like messages about annual dental cleanings or eye exams.
‘Short’ and ‘Informative’ Don’t Have to Clash
HR managers often have to convey large amounts of information to many employees all at once, creating a dilemma. If HR dumps a ton of information into only a few communications initiatives, employees could become overwhelmed and won’t engage with it as freely. As a result, a large portion may not get the support they need.
This is where developing an employee communications calendar is essential. A calendar and schedule allows you to break up your communications into bite-sized messages that are easier to engage with. While the message itself should be short, you can still include resources for additional information. The information is there, but you’re providing it in a format that empowers your workers to engage with it on their terms.
Track Engagement and Adjust
Another advantage of segmenting employee communications initiatives into shorter messages is that you can test their effectiveness by tracking engagement. If you see engagement sagging for a few messages, you can adjust on the fly. Pretty soon, you’ll see patterns of engagement with certain messages and types of communications. Isolating which elements work best will lead to increasingly effective messages. You can use the valuable data to further shape your year-round communications and identify areas where your employees need more support. You might even discover areas where the benefits offered can be improved.
A Place to Start
At Flimp Communications, we now offer several year-round communications bundles. Featuring our digital postcard campaigns with customizable videos and extensive engagement tracking, we’ll help you create and share effective messaging that reflects your brand. The flexible accessibility our technology provides means none of your workers will be left out.
Remember, a year-round employee communications strategy requires commitment, and consistency is key.