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6 Best Practices for Communicating with Employees

CoAdvantage-One underrated challenge with which every employer must deal is how to communicate effectively with their own employees. Clear, engaging, and persuasive communications are critical in the workplace. They’re needed to help sell employees on changes and new policies in the workplace, to help employees make the best use of their benefits, to improve compliance with company policies, to boost performance and productivity, and much more.

So, how can company owners and leaders best communicate with workers? Here are six best practices.

1: Understand the importance of communicating effectively

Foundationally, employers need to understand the importance of good communication in the first place. Otherwise, they won’t prioritize it. For example, MetLife’s 2021 Employee Benefit Trends report found that good benefits communications made employees 100% more likely to trust their employer, 78% happier with their job, and 50% more likely to be loyal to their employer. Effective communications really do matter!

2: Educate yourself about the subject matter

Know what you’re talking about. Employers need to communicate with employees around a wide range of subjects, and the employer may not be expert in all those areas. For example, health-related benefits can be very confusing – even to the business itself, since health insurance coverage is so heavily regulated by the government. Eliminate your own confusion, and you’re more than halfway toward making it easy on your employees. Alternatively, if you use a consultancy group, HR partner, or PEO, you already have a resource you can use to knowledgeably prepare and distribute subject-specific information.

3: Make a plan

Don’t leave success to chance with ad hoc, off the cuff communications. Determine in advance who will provide what information when and where. Make sure you think through the intended audience and try to anticipate their concerns, questions, and objections. Then tailor the communications for their needs.

4: Take it home

Major decisions happen at home. For example, when preparing and disseminating information regarding health coverage, employee contracts, or policies that may indirectly affect the employee’s family, employees will likely consult with their spouses, dependents, and others. Make sure the communications are packaged in a form that can be accessed at home and reviewed by multiple parties.

6: Keep it simple

Don’t overcomplicate your communications. Communicate only what your employees need to know. Leave out excess information that would just confuse or overwhelm. Remember that employees care most about what affects them. They don’t necessarily need a complete background or comprehensive explainer. Finally, use plain language that avoids jargon and technical explanations the employee may not understand.

Bonus tip: keep communications compliant

Many employer communications are actively regulated by law, which can mandate that certain disclosures be provided to employees under certain conditions and contain requisite language. For help, contact your HR team or vendor.

CoAdvantage, one of the nation’s largest Professional Employer Organizations (PEOs), helps small to mid-sized companies with HR administration, benefits, payroll, and compliance. To learn more about CoAdvantage’s ability to create a strategic HR function in your business that drives business growth potential, contact us today.