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Solving the Top 3 Employee Communication Challenges

CoAdvantage-Sometimes the employer can do everything right … and still, come up short. One example: employers can follow every best practice in communicating effectively with employees but still end up with employees failing to consume or understand those communications.

This lapse in understanding can have meaningful consequences. For example, if employees don’t understand why or how to follow a new initiative, they may resist it, resulting in anything from lost productivity to increased dissatisfaction. In these cases, it’s helpful to do a little troubleshooting. If you can figure out the problem, you can work out a solution. Here are three of the most common challenges employers face when trying to communicate with the workforce … and how to solve them.

Challenge #1: Employees don’t have time for something they see as a second priority

If employees are de-prioritizing the communication effort because they’re short on time or for some other logistical reason, employers must first figure out what’s going on. Consider an employee survey to get their take. For example, if you’re hosting internal webinars to explain benefits, but employees aren’t showing up, investigate why. Then, you might consider trying to:

  • Shorten the communication and focus them more tightly, e.g., do a series of 10-minute webinars instead of one hour-long webinar.
  • Switch to a different communication channel, e.g., instead of webinars, email a monthly HCR newsletter or fact sheet or FAQ.
  • Make the communication more flexible to consume, e.g., record a video so employees can view it at any time instead of having to meet at a scheduled time.

Challenge #2: Communications aren’t addressing topics employees really care about

Sometimes communications fall flat because employees just don’t care about the subject matter. Here, it may be necessary to invest some effort in elevating the importance of communications, so employees prioritize their time accordingly.

Try reframing the subject matter and tie it to issues employees do care about. For example, solicit questions and then center the webinar or other communications around those questions, since you know employees care about them. The timing could also be an issue again but in a different way: maybe it’s good information, but employees don’t need it now, so you should reschedule the webinar about your benefits programs closer to actual enrollment.

Challenge #3: Communications aren’t well targeted to the intended audience

It’s critical to ensure that employee communications deliver on the audience’s needs. Most workplaces are pretty diverse places, and each employee will be in a different stage of their life and career progression. They’ll have different family situations, and each will have different priorities. If you’re still struggling with your communication efforts, you might be trying to be all things to all people with a single communication. Instead, try to segment communications to better reach specific audiences, where it’s reasonable and feasible to do so.

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.