Five employee communication mistakes you should try to avoid

Communicating effectively with your employees can prove to be a tricky balancing act. Do too little and you run the risk of having no engagement with your staff. Too much and your employees may become tired of constantly hearing from you.

In this blog we’ll give you a very quick overview of five employee communication mistakes you should try to avoid.

1. Information overload – keep it light on the detail

The most important thing is to…K.I.S.S - keep it simple, stupid! We see so many examples of internal comms where the reader is bombarded with detail - it’s not necessary. Keep the messaging in your comms as simple as possible, and give employees the opportunity to find more information elsewhere.

2. Don’t communicate too infrequently

Another big mistake employers often make is sending their communications out sporadically, with no real plan or strategy behind them. Make sure you have a clear strategy and agreed timeline, so that the messaging can have maximum impact. Also clearly identifiable branding will help employees buy into the concept you’re trying to convey.  

3. Don’t communicate too often

On the other side of the coin, you definitely don’t want to send your communications too often. Once a week is more than enough where internal communications are concerned! It might be worth creating a weekly/fortnightly internal newsletter that covers all the hot topics and that your employees expect to see in their inbox. It will also mean that if you need to say something that is business critical (out of the norm) your employees are more likely to pay attention to it.

4. Not tailoring your comms channel and messaging to your audience

It gets said all the time, but one size definitely doesn’t fit all. While younger employees might like an email, vlogs or a social media campaign on your internal social network about a new benefit, older employees or those who are field-based might prefer something more traditional, like a face-to-face meeting or a letter through the door.

5. Don’t be boring!

You’d be amazed how many employers feel like they don’t have to put any effort in when communicating with their employees - the attitude is just ‘send it out and tick that box’. Ask yourself the question, would you act on a marketing email from a retailer if it didn’t grab your attention? So why should your employees behave any differently when presented with boring internal comms? Let your creative juices flow!

Make sure you check out our other blogs where we’ve got even more top tips for you to get the most out of your employee engagement.   

The power of internal communications and its impact on employee engagement

Thanks to technology, smartphones and social media, the world of internal communications has come a long way in a very short space of time and a generic approach to communicating with your employees, simply won’t do. The aim of any internal communication is to leave the person informed, educated, motivated and above all engaged.

Figures show that companies with engaged employees outperform those without by a staggering 202% (Source: Dale Carnegie). So it begs the question, is it time to rethink your internal communications strategy?

Why is it so important to engage with your employees?

An engaged workforce is the gift that keeps on giving - it can improve morale, boost productivity and create a better working environment. Your employees will feel valued and motivated, and genuinely know that they contribute to the overall success of the company they work for.

Effective internal communications is a great way for employees, old and new, to understand the company, its values and the business objectives. And they play a key part in delivering your employee engagement strategy.

So how do you deliver the gold-standard of internal comms? Get to know your employees, learn what makes them tick, and listen to what they have to say!

Surveys are a great way of doing this – you can gather a wide range of information from a large percentage of your employee base. Other ways can include focus groups, an employee forum with a select few individuals who represent the views of all employees, Q&A sessions between management and employees, and an internal social media platform that encourages employees to engage with one another on a variety of topics.   

The key to great internal communications

Tailor your messaging so that it’s relevant. But don’t feel the need to bombard your staff with emails. Keep the content short and sweet – with a mixture of useful, ‘need-to-know’ pieces, and more light-hearted ‘nice-to-know’ things like employees who have received awards for going the extra mile at work or doing charitable work in their community.

Here are a few simple things to remember when drafting your communications:

> Tone of voice - keep it friendly, simple and jargon-free

> Be open and objective

> Be recognisable – use the same logo, design and templates for similar communications

> Consistency – create a plan of when you’re going to send communications out. For example every Friday you send out an internal newsletter

> Use accessible channels – email, internal intranet pages and social platforms can prove to be very popular, and can make your life far easier.

> Other channels – Team meetings, Town Halls, video updates and focus groups are also great ways to communicate with your employees.

> Don’t hide the management team away

Another thing to remember is that some companies will have a large amount of field-based employees, so digital communications will be less effective and traditional forms of collateral might work a bit better.

“The success of any internal communication lies in keeping your audience involved in its evolution. Their interaction and interest will mean the difference between a communication that goes nowhere and is read by no one, and one that engages the entire workforce.” (HR Zone)