There is a rising demand for the HR departments of different businesses to come up with their respective HR communications strategy, as business owners and leaders become increasingly aware of the positive effects of effective internal communication to the engagement of employees. Therefore, the HR department must improve the internal communication within the organization, in order to raise levels of employee performance and retention while reducing the percentage of employee turnover.
Assess Your Position
If you are tasked to develop your company’s communications strategy, then you must first assess your company and its current standing in terms of communication. To do this, you must first hold a company wide survey, paying attention to differentiating between the divisions and levels of the participants. From this audit, you must be able to glean data and information that answer questions like:
- How do employees receive regular information? What channels are being used?
- Do employees receive accurate information? What is the basis for measuring this accuracy?
- Do all employees get the same message from the organization, or are the messages open to many interpretations?
- Are employees aware of the goals and the effects of internal communication to the company’s success? Do they understand these goals and effects?
The Right Approach
Developing an HR communications strategy entails the correct approach. More often than not, HR personnel err in the methodology they use, asking themselves about what needs to be done, instead of why something needs to be done. While the what is a necessity, the more important detail is the why of the plan.
If you wish to improve your internal communication, then you have to let the people in your organization understand what the issues are, and why these issues came into being. The rationale behind this is that you cannot really solve a problem unless you fully understand what it is. Let your staff know what the problem is, so they could have some ownership over the problem and the situation. Once they are fully in the know, they would not pushback on your attempts at fixing the problem and might even contribute ideas about how to overcome your communication issues.
Central to the development of the HR communications strategy is the ability to answer the following questions:
- What are the organization’s goals and aims, and what does it aspire to achieve in the future?
- What kind of attitudes and behaviors do the employees have? Which steps do the staff need to take in order to achieve these goals and aims?
- What is the current state of the staff and what changes are needed in terms of their attitudes, perceptions or their access to basic information?
- How can internal communication help close the gap between where the company is right now, and where you want to be in the future?
- Which roles will managers, leaders and employees play in the development of the internal communication strategy?
- Which communication activities need to be done in order to properly develop the strategy?
To get the full buy-in of the employees, you need to make them understand how effective internal communication can help solve the organization’s current issues.
Developing the HR Communications Strategy
As you develop your strategy, you must focus on employee-centered communication, emphasizing the benefits the staff would get from implementing the strategy. You must also bear in mind that your internal communication initiatives are not something extra; rather, they are integral to the business. Therefore, your organization must have allocated budgets and resources in order to support and implement the plan.