Engage Your Employees by Moving the Conversation to Them
“I’m sorry. I can’t. Don’t hate me.”
It was the break-up heard around the world in Season 6 of Sex and the City when Berger broke up with Carrie…on a Post-it.
“A Post-it! That’s infuriating,” said Charlotte. She’s right.
The point here, is that how you deliver your message matters.
Employees are busy, but they want to stay in step with leadership and know that they’re doing the right things to benefit themselves and the company. That doesn’t mean communicating MORE – it means communicating strategically.
Part of our process for making sure that our clients are saying the right things in the right places requires that we check in with your employees to understand their communications preferences.
Our Strategic Communications Checklist mandates that our communications “match your employees’ communications preferences.”
This means that we maintain a sensitivity to subject matter, timing, distribution channel, and the need for conversation or follow-up communications when we’re preparing messages for our clients.
Most employers have a diverse workforce that includes delivery people, assembly line workers, sales people, call center support teams, desk workers, remote workers, part-time retail employees, executives, etc. With such a diverse workforce it is nearly impossible to reach all employees with equal effect.
That’s why the most effective communications strategies consider how and where people consume information in their daily lives.
You have to meet your employees where they already are so that they can remain informed and engaged without distracting them from their work.
We help employers determine the best communications channels for their messages in a few ways:
- Ask your employees what they want – most employers conduct some form of annual survey of employees to solicit feedback on how the company is faring in their employees’ eyes. This is an ideal time to include a few short questions that address how employees like to keep informed about company news. Download our Strategic Communications Checklist to see a few sample questions you could include in your annual employee survey.
- Use the right tools for the job – just because your employees say they love one-on-one conversations with their managers about company-related news doesn’t mean that every message now has to go through your manager. There will be times when a tweet or an article on your employee portal are the best way to start a conversation that is later followed up with an executive video and an email with talking points to managers so that they can guide employees through a deeper conversation (and capture critical feedback for the company as well).
- Consider the impact –no one wants to be dumped via Post-it (or more likely a text message these days). When you’re crafting your message and choosing your communications channel, consider how your message impacts your employees. Is it okay to receive this news late at night on their personal device via email or text? What if some employees read the news before others – is it easily shared internally to keep the message from going off-script? Should managers know in advance so they can prepare for hard conversations with employees?
All communications channels have their strengths and limitations. Remembering that people you care about are on the receiving end of your communications will boost your ROI and drive employee engagement.
Aligning your messages with your employees’ communications preferences is one our core standards for communicating strategically.
Click here to download our Strategic Communications Checklist and position yourself as a thought leader who knows how to get results through strategic communications.