Tell employees what they want to know.
Organizations communicate with employees about company policies, employee benefits and health and wellness in the workplace. This is important of course, but employees also want to know what the company is all about -- what it believes in, its goals, values, performance and plans for the future
"When employees feel connected to the long-term vision of your company, the foundation for a great culture is formed," said Joe Spallina, vice president of employee benefits for Assurance, an insurance agency based in Schaumburg that specializes in business insurance, employee benefits, financial services and private insurance.
High-performing companies make employee communications a priority. They know engaged employees means happier employees and an improved bottom line. And they know that to engage employees, they must create a culture of healthy communication within their organizations.
Managers need to know how to communicate. When explaining a complicated change to the organization's health-care or pension plan, they need to be knowledgeable about the changes and distribute handouts to make it easier for employees to understand how the transition will impact them.
Successful companies plan their internal communications with the same intensity as they do their branding, marketing and sales strategies. Assurance employs this with its own employees, which is evident in its many recognitions as a "best place to work." And Assurance works with its clients to help communicate information about benefits and insurance to their employees.
Ways to communicate with employees
• Schedule an informal meeting with no business purpose to establish a rapport with employees.
• Meet with employees to check on progress and to identify any potential problems.
• Meet in a group huddle to discuss the plan for the day.
• Hold a quarterly company-wide meeting for an update on the state of the business with time for a question and answer session.
• Be straightforward about challenges to the business, which fosters trust and understanding between management and employees.
• Host an informal "lunch and learn" meeting to introduce new products or concepts.
• Hold town hall meetings where key company leaders meet face-to-face with employees.
• Recognize good work. Thank employees personally for their efforts.
• Send weekly correspondence to all employees in the company.
• Design announcements for company news, benefit updates and training opportunities.
• Promote company programs such as health and wellness and green initiatives.
• Implement team-building exercises to strengthen employee relationships.
• Let employees know what is expected of them so they can perform to their potential.
How to listen to employees
• Have a management team that is visible and accessible to employees and their questions.
• Facilitate focus groups or surveys to learn what issues matter most to employees.
• Create a method for formal feedback and take input seriously.
• Note employees' body language, which is an unspoken means of communication.
• Make sure policies are fair.
• Make sure message is heard.
Benefits of employee communication
• Boosts employee engagement and morale that ultimately leads to motivation, loyalty and retention.
• Improves attendance, performance and productivity.
• Increases employee satisfaction and reduces turnover.
• Builds a sense of community among employees.
• Provides an opportunity for employees to make a contribution.
• Builds trust in management.
• Creates a healthy work environment.
• Helps employees feel valued.
Taking employee communication seriously will help create a healthy and happy workplace where people look forward to going to work each day and believe they are an important part of the organization. Creating a well-thought-out communication plan will benefit employees and the organizations in which they work.
• Assurance is an award-winning insurance brokerage with the purpose of helping clients minimize risk and maximize health in their organizations. The company designs and delivers top quality business insurance and benefit programs for a diverse and growing workforce.
This article is sponsored by Assurance, 1750 E. Golf Road, Schaumburg.
For more information, contact (888) 429-0999.