Workplace culture has undergone immense changes in recent years. Initially, most organizations adopt downward communication. Downward employee communication allows the information to flow from the higher level to the lower level.
However, the mindset of employers underwent a significant change. Now, employers believe in two-way communication. The reason is that two-way communication leads to increased productivity. Plus, it contributes to employee satisfaction because the employee has freedom of speech.
When there is transparent communication in the workplace, then it becomes easier to achieve the objectives.
What is employee communication?
Employee communication refers to the sharing of ideas between the employee and the management of the organization. Effective employee communication is essential for the success of an organization.
The good news is that there are various channels to communicate with your employee effectively. With the advent of social media, communication has become a more convenient process.
You can share the information with your employees instantly using social media. Now, there is one thing that you may keep in mind. There cannot be any hard and fast rules for communication. For example, there are times when a communication process is effective in one organization.
However, the same communication process may not be effective in another organization. What you need to do is identify the mode of communication that works best in your organization.
Factors to gauge effective employee communication
When the employees are well-informed, and the processes are smooth, then this shows that the organization has an effective communication process.
Different modes of employee communication
Now, let us explore the different processes for effective employee communication.
We will start by discussing the traditional processes first. The traditional process focuses on the top-down approach of communication. The management creates the policies and procedures here.
The created policies get circulated among the employees. What you need to keep in mind is that the traditional process is one-way communication. Desirable results cannot get achieved through one-way communication.
An article published onHubSpotemphasizes that we need to minimize the communication barriers for effective communication. The one-way communication is more of a barrier.
It hampers the freedom of speech. The employees feel reluctant to express their point of view in such an environment. As a result, the growth of the organization gets hampered.
Social media and cell phones
Well, what you must remember is that your employee carries an important communication tool with them. The cell phone is undoubtedly one of the effective mediums for communication.
The best part is that with the help of the cell phone, it becomes easy for you to communicate with the employees working remotely. Social media is yet another powerful medium for communication. You can access these platforms from anywhere. As a result, the employees remain informed about what is happening in the organization.
When we look at the global trend, then email is an effective mode of communication. You can get to know about the latest developments in an organization through the email. The benefit of the email is that you can communicate with your employees instantly.
Plus, you can reach out to each and every employee through the email. Now, the setback of the email is that it is difficult to identify the tone of the message, and communication can easily break down.
Understanding the significance of employee communication
It is also essential to identify the significance of employee communication here. When you talk to your employees frequently, then they tend to remain engaged in the organization. Their interest tends to increase, and the employees develop a positive attitude towards the organization.
When you communicate with your employees, then they develop a clear perception of what they wish to achieve in an organization. As a result, employees develop a consistent attitude. They do not come with interpretations that do not align with the goals of the organization.
The significant aspect of effective employee communication is that they respond well to changes. If you communicate the changes to the employee, they will tend to accept the change.
Tips for improving employee communication
Quora states that you have to identify ways to improve employee communication. The fact of the matter is that high-performing organizations communicate with the employees on priority. However, there are some parameters for communication that you cannot ignore by any means at all.
Making use of multiple channels
When you want to communicate with the employees, then it is essential to utilize multiple channels. The benefit of this practice is that the message will reach the people in time.
Know the employees
You must understand the psyche of your employees. Well, this may sound challenging initially. However, it is not an impossible endeavor. As an employer, you should come up with different surveys from time to time. It will become easy for you to interpret what is going in the mind of your employees through the surveys.
Evaluating the effectiveness of the communication process
When you communicate with your employees, then you do not want the discussions to fall to deaf ears. Well, this is why there is a need to measure the effectiveness of the communication process. You need to have a clear picture if your communication strategy is working or not.
Reinforce the messages
As an employer, when you want to acquire the best output from the employees, then reinforce the messages. The employees must be able to connect to the information that you pass on to them. Once they have the information, it will be easy for the employees to lay out their goals.
Mistakes that hamper employee communication
When you want to achieve the success of your organization as an employer, then you need to get rid of employee discontentment. For example, if an employee approaches the higher management for some issues, and the employer ignores the employee’s needs. Well, this causes distress in the employee. A communication barrier gets formed in this situation.
Next time the employee will not be willing to talk out his concerns with the employer.
When we talk about effective communication, then it can become a challenge to communicate with a remote employee. Let us assume that the employee is awaiting feedback on a project. A bland email message may put off the employee for all times to come.
As an employer, you need to ensure that when you respond to your employee, the message shows clarity.
The different communication styles for effective employee communication
The Passive communication style
When you adopt a flexible tone in your communication style, then it refers to passive communication. Passive communication is all about going with the flow. The setback of passive communication is that it does not lay down a clear strategy to deal with conflicts.
Passive-aggressive communication style
The passive-aggressive communication style is a combo of a passive approach, but it has an aggressive side underneath. For example, the employee adopts a specific approach to do a particular task. He communicates his approach to the manager.
The manager agrees to the approach at that point in time. However, intrinsically, he does not agree with the approach. The point to note is that passive-aggressive communication may not be the best approach to execute in an organization.
When you talk to your employees, then you need a clear line of action.
Aggressive communication style
Some organizations also adopt an aggressive communication style. The truth is that the aggressive style does not work out in the practical world. The reason is that the employees are now gaining awareness.
Most of the employees are not willing to make any compromises when it comes to their rights. Most employees take the aggressive communication style as an insult, which hampers their productivity. The aggressive communication style is also about directly pointing the blame.
The organizations that wish to achieve success in the long run, do not approve of this approach.
Assertive communication style
There is no denying the fact that assertive communication is a healthy approach. When you indulge in assertive communication, then you address the needs of others around you. The benefit of assertive communication is that you are also paying heed to what your employee says.
For example, assertive communication may sound like this. I do respect your option, but I do not agree with it. Assertive communication is a professional approach that organizations may adopt to talk out with employees.
KPIs to judge effective employee communication
Identifying the parameters to track engagement
What you need to remember is that you can never judge what you cannot measure. You need to track the effectiveness of the communication process in your organization. Once you track the effectiveness, then you are in a position to evaluate the success of the process.
We will look at simple KPIs that can help you judge internal communication. Every organization sends information to the employees. The question here is whether the employees are reading the information. You can have a platform to track the engagement. As a result, it will become easy for you to identify the weaknesses of your communication system.
Now, most HR managers check the engagement by figuring the Intranet logins or email opening rate. However, this only gives you a brief insight into the bigger picture. Let us explain this with a practical example.
An email gets circulated to all the employees. The management can only get an idea if the employees are well-informed by monitoring the links clicked inside the email. It shows that the employee went through the email in detail.
If the employees are clicking the links in the email, it means that they are engaging in an efficient communication process.
Checking the turnover rates
Do you want to check whether your employees are in a comfort zone with you? Are you eager to know whether your employee communicates their thought process to you? An organization can judge the effectiveness of employee communication through the turnover rate also.
When employees are happy working in an organization, then they tend to work with an organization for a long time. The company needs to devise a strategy to monitor the turnover rate.
Keep track of employee advocacy
When the employees are contented working in an organization, then they become advocates of your brand. If the morale of your employees is high, then it shows that there are no communication loopholes. It shows that the employees are in their comfort zone.
What is the difference between employee communication and internal communication?
It is also vital to understand the difference between employee communication and internal communication to establish an effective communication process. When the company decides to communicate with a subset of employees or all employees, then it refers to employee communication.
For example, the CEO sends an email to all the employees. The example reflects employee communication. When we talk about internal communication, then it reflects different approaches. For example, it is top-down communication, horizontal or vertical communication.
Horizontal communication is the exchange of information between different departments, units, or different people. When the messages tend to flow between the subordinates and the superiors of the organization, then it is vertical communication. Now, we will move to the significance of employee engagement tactics that strengthen internal communication.
An article got published on Forbes which focuses on communication tactics that increase employee engagement. The article emphasizes that employee communication should never take a backseat.
Tactics for effective internal communication
Indulge in purposeful communication
There is no denying the fact that billions of emails flow in and out of the offices every single day. However, you may not be sure whether the communication process is effective or not. The organization needs to indulge in purposeful information rather than information overload.
When you want to communicate with your employees effectively, then you need to understand the significance of a reward system. For example, an organization may come up with a weekly newsletter to discuss the success, milestones, and rewards of the employees.
Come up with a communication plan
No organization can have a standard communication plan. As an employer, you need to analyze the communication needs of your organization and come up with your plan. The management needs to identify breakdowns in the communication process.
Once they identify the breakdowns, then it will become easy to come up with rectifications. Your employees are your audience. Well, this is why you have to consider their communication preferences also. The management needs to identify the best tools for internal communication.
The management also needs to identify whether the tools can judge the interaction level. Live by one rule of the thumb, and that is choosing the right medium of communication is essential.
When you need to convey sensitive information to the employee, then your preference should be one to one communication. On the contrary, when you have to resolve a conflict, then a planned meeting works well.
The crux of the matter is that the success of the communication strategy depends upon the chosen medium.
How to optimize the employee communication strategy
Involving all the essential stakeholders
When you want to devise an effective communication strategy for your organization, then it is essential to involve all the stakeholders. For example, the employer needs to offer extensive mobile support to the employees.
Personalized social media content can also offer value in this situation. The essential aspect to keep in mind when optimizing the strategy is that no employee should remain disconnected.
Highlight the internal influencers
The organization needs to identify internal influencers. The good news is that the internal influencers act as a motivational factor for the employees. Most of the internal influencers have a strong command on social media.
They can play their role to strengthen the communication channel so that the employees remain updated.
Empowering the managers is an essential tool
When an organization designs its communication strategy, then it is essential to take the managers into the loop. The managers need to analyze the employees and see what communication strategy best suits them.
The manager is in the best position to evaluate the communication needs of the employee.
What internal communications tools can a company use in order to improve communication among employees?
When you want to communicate with your employees, then videos are an effective tool for internal communication. The good news is that video hosting and production has become more of an affordable option.
Video conferences, meetings, and presentations can get recorded. These recordings can be useful for remote employees and help to keep them engaged. An organization can bring the personality of the CEO to the forefront by creating a regular video.
When the CEO communicates with the employees through the video, then it makes them more approachable. Secondly, if the organization needs to deliver bad news, then the impact of the news softens through the video.
An organization can also make use of mobile apps to engage the employees. The apps can act as a single portal for the employees to perform tasks and remain connected. However, there is one thing that the employer must keep in mind. He should get the app designed, keeping in view its usefulness.
The mobile apps can be a lethal tool to increase interaction so an organization should not miss out on them.
Every organization has plenty of information. At times it can become challenging to manage this information. Well, this is where the company intranet can play its role. The intranet can get considered as a valuable repository for useful information.
It offers easy searchability, and it becomes easy to categorize your content. Intranet can be a centralized location for keeping the information. An organization can involve the IT team to create dedicated sections on the intranet.
Communication management tool
Additionally, the organization will also need a communication management tool. The tool will keep track of all the tasks and their status. When the organization has a communication management tool, then nothing gets overlooked at the end of the day.
When an organization supports effective communication, then online forums do have a role to play. The employees have the freedom to express their opinions using the forums. However, the management needs to invest some time in designing the structure of the forum.
Now, this may seem like a new approach, but it is undoubtedly effective. When we talk about enterprise gamification, then it combines online competitions and quizzes. The benefit of gamification is that it encourages positive behavior.
The best thing about projects is that it tends to generate excitement around projects. Gamification also tends to provide relevant training to the employees. Remember, when you deliver heavy compliance information, then it does not need to be boring all the time.
Well, Podcasts have become popular in recent years. The truth is that media-rich organizational content can get delivered in an impactful way through Podcasts. The employees can access this information as per their convenience.
Podcasts can get used to evaluate business performance. Secondly, the employees can get key market insights through the podcast. The strategy that the organization needs to adopt is to highlight the upcoming podcasts in other internal communication tools.
The good news is that internal blogs can be effective for internal communication. The subject matter experts can write these blogs. They can write about the best business practices and ideas that relate to specific business units. Plus, the blogs can keep the employee updated about what is happening in the organization.
When we talk about effective employee communication, then we cannot miss out on collaboration tools. The benefit of the collaboration tools is that they promote effective discussion. They encourage dialogue between the inter-departmental teams.
Plus, they also promote communication in small groups that work upon achieving a common goal. Employees can ask questions by making use of the collaboration tool. Response gets posted using these collaboration tools. The best part is that the communication process takes place in real-time.
You are not dependent on your cell phones at the end of the day. The collaboration tools work best in workplaces where the employees operate in different time zones. When you are looking for some of the best instant messaging tools, then Slack, Chanty, and Yammer are good options.
Who is the best Employee Communication tool provider for Companies?
When we talk about the best communication tool provider, then the first name that comes to the mind is Slack. The real challenge is to maintain effective communication with a remote employee. Well, this is where Slack plays its role. The employees can sync their Slack status with the Google calendar. As a result, others become aware of the availability of an employee.
With this tool it becomes easy for the employees to join Zoom with a single click. Slack also provides a Gmail add-on. Well, this is why it becomes easy for you to bring an email thread into Slack.
When the email thread is available on the tool, then you can discuss it with the team without a problem. When you want to have effective employee communication, then it is essential that employees need to remain updated.
You can collaborate with the Google Drive using Slack. As a result, you will get information about the latest files shared or you will receive comments on your work. The employees can import the drive files which they wish to share with the other team members.
Slack is an asset for the remote employees also. The employee can create a dedicated channel for each project using this tool. As an employee, you can move all the meeting notes, files, and discussions into the channel.
The employees can name the channels to ensure that the discussion stays on topic. The organization can introduce a general channel for announcements. The benefit of this practice is that all employees will remain updated.
Yammer is yet another tool that is gaining popularity because it is effective for internal communication. However, the organization needs to define the purpose for Yammer in the organization.
Yammer can get termed as a cloud-based social network. It enables the employees to collaborate across different departments and promotes effective employee communication. The employees can join public and private groups using Yammer.
The network facilitates private messaging also so it becomes easy for the employees to communicate with each other.
Troop Messenger is an office chat application that makes it possible for you to have a rich yet professional chat experience with your team members. It is designed to empower and improve employee communication and collaboration via the instant messaging feature.
Use it to discuss business ideas, collaborate on projects, and bring together your remote teams in a secure environment to enhance workplace communication. Just like a social media app, Troop Messenger connects organization-wide employees despite their location and time zones.
You can not only enjoy the chat feature but also leverage advanced features like video calls, screen sharing, and do more securely and efficiently.
If you are looking for a tool better than Slack and Yammer, then Blink is the best option. The tool works well for employee engagement. Many English companies are turning to this software for employee engagement.
Blink combines the best features of the employee intranet. It’s an information-rich tool for the on-site staff and remote employees.
Blink allows you to store the onboarding material directly in the company’s hub. Plus, you can send the outstanding HR tasks to the new employees without a problem. The best thing about Blink is that it is more of an intuitive tool.
The tool keeps the employees focused. Blink feed also offers immense value to the employees. The employees get a chance to see social posts from their co-workers in an internal company News Feed keeping everyone engaged. Blink offers transparency that may not be available with other tools.
You get to know what integrated tools get used with Blink. The tool gives a clear picture about unread messages in the feed. There is no denying the fact that Blink provides stats for every post present in the feed.
When it comes to other tools, they are far behind in the competition. Let us compare Blink and Slack to understand how Blink supersedes Slack.
|Cost: $6.18 per month||Cost: $6.67 per month|
|UK Based 24/7 support||No 24/7 Support|
|Scalable at the same price||Prices go up as company scales|
|Blink offers a clear sense of direction. It is perfect for sharing important announcements, bringing together the whole team||Slack is more of a conversational tool, it does not work well engaging companies as a whole|
Creating an approval process for internal communication
When you want your internal communication process to be a success, then you need to plan an approval strategy also. The content that gets floated across different mediums need approval. The benefit of this practice is that the content will not have any errors that can sabotage the employee communication.
Secondly, closed comments will not get published in the wrong segments. The organization needs to assign a team to control the internal communication process. There should be stakeholders from each department who will contribute in the approval process.
Marketing and communication teams have the ability to effectively manage the communication process. The marketing team needs to navigate to the content library. They have to identify the up to date content. It will have a crucial impact on employee advocacy.
Bambu is an effective tool to increase employee advocacy. When the employees will engage with the content, then they will turn into powerful content marketing engines for your organization.
The approval team must also ensure that the content gets floated on the correct platforms. For example, major news needs to get shared on Twitter. When the employees go through this news, it will give them the feeling that they matter to the company.
Devising the communication strategy
When an organization wants to devise an effective communication strategy, then it needs to remember one rule. The communication process needs to be simple. The organization must identify a centralized location of information for the employees. When the organization will make the various sources of information accessible, then there will be no communication loopholes.
The organization must promote productive and meaningful communication in an organization. It will not be a bad idea to give trainings to employees. As a result, it will become easy for the employees to understand the essence of meaningful communication.
The organization should create channels where the employees can freely share their ideas. A successful organization has a multi-generation workforce. The benefit of this practice is that every generation can pitch in their ideas for success.
When an organization wants their communication strategy to be a success, then they need to practice what they preach. The communication strategy needs to be followed by the higher management also. The reason is that the employees look up to higher management.
The communication process needs to get streamlined across the organization. The new trends should get embraced by the higher management also and only then the lower-level employees will follow them.
Keep one thing in mind employee communication is the backbone of any organization. You cannot afford to go wrong here. When a company does not have satisfied employees, then success will become impossible.
The management needs to own the employees by accepting their innovative communication ideas. Only, then the employees will get inclined to give in their input.
The HR department of the organization should also take additional steps to promote effective communication. They should have periodic sessions with the employees so that they get a fair idea if any employee is discontent.
When the employees are satisfied, then they encourage the new joiners also to contribute to the communication process. It takes significant time to build up a workforce. Effective communication is the only way to retain employees. Once an organization has a talented workforce, then it becomes easy to focus on other critical goals of the organization.
Take your first step towards success today and encourage your employees to communicate effectively. Remember, your employees are the future of your organization.