With Corona impacting businesses all over the world, effective employee communication has become a huge competitive differentiator. Lockdowns, remote work, and the super-dynamic situation force enterprises to elaborate on new ways of effective communication channels.
Effective Employee Communication Is A Key Differentiator
What can we learn from the first months of a previously unthinkable situation? If you follow the analysis and research papers, McKinsey, and other companies produced, you will quickly recognize one aspect. They all agree that companies that have managed to establish effective employee communication approaches tackled the crisis much better. Moreover, the relevance of effective employee communication will steadily increase during the next months and years.
However, when people hear the term “employee communication,” they still think of email, chat, or video conferencing. This isn’t entirely wrong. Nonetheless, it is only part of this vast discipline. Companies that pay attention to employee satisfaction and want to drive competitive advantages have to follow a much broader approach.
With this blog post, we provide ten tips you should follow to establish a truly effective employee communication — not only in times of Corona.
12 Secret Tips For Effective Employee Communication
1 — Mobile First
In today’s world, communication —first and foremost— happens on smartphones. Therefore, regardless of the content, you want to provide or the function you’re envisioning, aim for a mobile-first strategy.
Personally, I have an even more radical view on that and consider a mobile-only approach as the most efficient.
What does mobile-first stand for? It means that you have to make sure that your employee communication tool is tailored to mobile usage. I always love to compare that with Facebook. It is still possible to use Facebook on a laptop. However, the focus is on smartphones. It is more convenient to use it on smartphones. Therefore, you have to adopt this thinking to your employee communication app.
And by the way, if you ask why: Because it meets your employees’ needs! They are used to have everything on their smartphone. And if you don’t offer a solution tailored to the smartphone, your approach is simply irrelevant!
2 — Automated Content
As initially stated, it is a colossal mistake to reduce employee communication apps to a chat or email tool. On the contrary, I genuinely believe that providing content to your employees is the essential pillar of employee communication strategies. That comprises content from various sources: social media, news websites, your HR system, financial figures, etc.
By the way: Here’s a detailed blog post about content you can integrate!
Additionally, I am a huge advocate of automated content. Again I love the comparison with Facebook. The perfect employee communication tool offers a broad range of content (that is generated automatically to a huge extend). Accordingly, that means you should integrate various content sources into your employee communication solution. And I can promise you: Your employees will love it!
3 — Enable Social Interactions
Why are social networks that successful? Ok, there are many different reasons. However, one essential aspect lies in the possibility to quickly react to content. Like, share, comment — it takes just a few seconds, but it reflects a super powerful function. Actually, those functions reflect an immense driver for knowledge sharing, emotions, and motivation.
But long story short: Make sure to offer the possibility of social interactions with your employee communication app.
4 — Use Different Content Forms
Essential but often underrated. Your employees get tired of monotonous content. And if they get tired of the content, they will stop consuming it. I think it is evident that you want to avoid this, right.
So what’s the best way to continuously get their attention: Diverse content. Do not stick to one single content form. Provide videos, audios, visuals, but also written words. Moreover, every one of us has different preferences. With a variety of content types, you make sure that you reach the attention of everyone!
5 — Address different needs
Probably the aspect I consider most important. You have to get rid of the concept that employee communication is just about providing information top-down. Employee communication is sooooo much more:
- Sharing knowledge and insights
- Creating transparency
- Driving emotions
- Situational awareness
- And on, and on, and on.
Therefore, you have to provide content to address each of these goals. Visuals that drive emotions, financial figures that create transparency, or management statements that provide insights.
6 — Push Information
This is a technical aspect. But still, I consider it as relevant for this list, and it massively helps to increase the usage of your employee communication solution. I’m pretty sure you know push notifications from other apps you are using on your smartphone. These are the messages appearing at the top of your smartphone, providing relevant updates or alerts.
The fantastic aspect of push notifications is that they catch your attention, although you are not using a specific. Here’s the reason why I think this is important. From my perspective, employee communication is in a constant battle of attention with other information sources. To make this point very clear and frank: Employees continually decide if they spend the next 5 minutes with Facebook, or Instagram, or mail, or Slack, or anything else. This is called the battle for attention.
Push notifications are your employee communication booster. They bring back the attention of your employees to the thing that matters most: Corporate content!
7 — Establish Feedback Channels
Feedback channels are essential to avoid a one-way communication. You can use comment functionalities, messaging, or any other approach. The critical aspect is to provide possibilities that let your employees drop their thoughts on a piece of content.
8 — Transparent Communication Is Key To Every Employee Communication
Regardless of the technical solution you are using, and regardless of the content you are providing, there is one thing that outperforms everything. Establish a transparent communication. Be clear, be precise, be open. I think Corona once and for all showed that times of information hiding is definitely over.
9 — Accessible Everywhere And Anytime
This aspect goes hand in hand with my first tip. Moreover, it is an absolute killer aspect of your employee communication. Ensure that your employees can access your solution and the provided content wherever they are and whenever they want. While working remotely, commuting, or exercising at the gym — your employees define when and where to communicate.
10 — UI + UX Is Essential
I know that many companies focus very much on the “what.” That means they spend a lot of time to debate what kind of content they should share. Or they discuss what functionalities they offer to comment and discuss.
However, they often underestimate the power of UI (User Interface) and UX (User Experience). That aspect is again tightly linked to the battle of attention. Your employees don’t want to use solutions that are complex or hard to use. They want to have fun while using it. So please make sure to pay attention to these aspects!
11 — Integrate External Content
Here’s a quick tip: Do not focus on enterprise-internal content only. Employee communication is also about providing relevant external content: Relevant news, information about competitors, industry updates, etc. Bear that in mind!
12 — Analyze Your Employee Communication Approach
Finally, a tip that fits many lists, yet it is an important one. Employee communication isn’t a fixed environment. Analyze your employees’ behavior. Monitor which content they consume, like, or share. Assess their comments and feedback. And subsequently, improve your strategy, content, and solution.