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February 19, 2021

Organizational Communication: Grab This Free HR Comms Checklist and Make Everyone Feel Heard

Illustration of guy checking off a checklist with a big pencil

If recent history has taught us anything, it’s that living (and running your business) in isolation is bad for your mental health, and for your teams' wellbeing too. 

In fact, although 71% of execs agree engaged and connected teams are vital to their success, only 15% of employees claim to actually be engaged in the workplace—that means less profitability, lower attendance and a higher employee turnover. 😲

In other words, low employee engagement is bad for business.

But it’s not all doom and gloom—because with the right organization communication strategy, low employee engagement can be a thing of the past. 

As HR pros find themselves navigating new territory in the age of Covid, social unrest and all. the. things., it’s time to update old HR communication plans and breathe new life into employee engagement strategies. 

To bring your HR comms firmly up-to-date, we’ve pulled together the newest employee engagement best practices post-2020, plus a detailed checklist to help you figure out how to formulate your own best response, every time.

Ready to leap into the future of organizational comms? Let’s do this.

Why organizational communication is where it’s at

Organizational communication definition: Also known as HR communications, organizational comms are the sending and receiving of information throughout a company—that can mean face-to-face, written, or via your favorite tech tool or app.

Every successful biz knows it pays to invest in people—and your people are the beating heart of any great organizational comms strategy. 

From breaking down silos to boosting productivity, the benefits of getting your internal communications in order are huge. 

Here are just a few ways an airtight organizational comms strategy can skyrocket your business 🚀: 

  • Get everyone on the same page: A great company culture starts with getting everyone aligned with your values. Sharing company goals, news, training, and development policies with your teams will get everyone onboard with the same mission. 
  • Achieve your objectives fast: Organizational communications is all about breaking down silos and boosting internal alignment. Whether you want to speed up your time-to-fill or lower turnover rates, the more streamlined your teams, the faster you’ll hit your objectives. It’s win-win.
  • Create a strong employer brand: Over 80% of leaders acknowledge employer branding has a significant impact on their ability to hire talent—and that’s just one reason to use internal comms to build a killer employer brand
  • Build trust with your people (and your customers): The old adage of ‘what happens in the office, stays in the office’ is thankfully no longer true. These days, signs of poor HR communications appear in employee surveys, customer escalations, and online ratings, and have a direct effect on employee and customer trust.  
  • Give employees a voice: HR communications is a two-way street. In fact, 90% of employees say they’re more likely to stay with a company that takes and acts on feedback.

The HR leader’s organizational communication checklist

Plan your strategy

  • Pinpoint areas for improvement.
  • Get to know your employees and decide how your comms will reflect and support their needs.
  • Ask your employees what HR communications they would like to see.

Know what you want to say

  • Decide which messages need to go company-wide and which are function/department only. 
  • Make a list of the file-types you need to share.
  • Figure out which teams need to talk to each other regularly (and which don’t). 

Decide how you want to say it

  • Give employees a voice.
  • Choose your channels wisely.
  • Decide who’ll manage your new HR communications plan.

Plan your way to organizational comms success

The first step to an epic HR communications strategy is to block out some time, grab a coffee, and plan, plan, plan. 📝☕

This stage is crucial to your success, so make sure you tackle every point on the checklist before you move on to stage two.

Let’s get started:

Pinpoint areas for improvement

Whether you’re starting from scratch or you’ve already got a solid communication plan, there will be areas you already know need a comms overhaul

Ask yourself: 

  • Where do our internal comms break down? 
  • What info do we struggle to share? 
  • Where could better communication save us time?
  • Which of our current channels don’t work? 
  • Are employees’ voices heard throughout the company?

Once you know what doesn’t work, you can figure out how to fix it. 🛠️

Know your audience

We all know great teams are built on diversity and inclusion—the more (engaged) employees you have from different races, ages, genders and religions, the more productivity and innovation. 

Organizational communications have a huge part to play when it comes to inclusion. The right message at the right time can help retain diverse employees and create an inclusive workplace—but only if the messages themselves are inclusive

Your choice of language, the channels you choose, and the information you share all impact on inclusive culture.  

Ask yourself: 

  • Who are our employees and what do they need in terms of communications?
  • How do men and women generally differ in their communication styles in organizational settings? 
  • How can we make sure inclusion is at the top of our communications priority list? 
  • Which comms channels will be most inclusive?

Ask your employees

No one knows your company better than your employees—so before you go any further, ask them what they want to see in internal communications. 

Give employees the chance to take part in surveys, offer opportunities for round tables, and check in with managers to collect direct feedback and feel out team vibes. 

The more direct employee input that goes into your new organizational communications strategy, the bigger an impact it will have. ✨

Know what you want to say

The next step on your road to HR communications that actually get the buy-in you’re looking for is to figure out exactly what you want to share with your employees.

Whether it’s live hiring updates or evergreen reports, knowing what to share (and what not to) is key to smooth operations.

Here are a few tips to get you started: 

  • Decide which messages need to go company-wide and which are function/department only. 
  • Make a list of the file-types you need to share. Think: Employee handbooks, newsletters, surveys or polls, case studies, policy documents, onboarding kits, interview guides, etc.
  • Figure out which teams need to talk to each other regularly (and which don’t). For example, your hiring teams will probably need a strong inter-team communication platform but your finance team maybe less so.

Decide how you want to say it

Wow. You’ve done some awesome work to get to this stage. 👏🏽

You know your goals, you’ve gathered employee feedback, and you know exactly what you want to say. Next, it’s time to figure out how to say it.

  • Plan to give employees a voice: How will you implement an easy-to-use employee feedback process? Will you make space for a weekly employee blog post on your website? Or maybe an employee-led Slack channel? (Check out this awesome example of how Culture Amp uses a “Props Bot” in Slack to boost employee recognition).
  • Choose your channels wisely: From internal newsletters to dedicated hiring software, the options for info dissemination are huge. If you have remote employees, integratable tech is the way forward, but if you’re in the office (or plan to be in the future) regular get-togethers could be the best choice. Even better, how about a combo to hit all bases?
  • Decide who’ll manage your new internal comms plan: Will you stay in-house, outsource, or both? Whichever you choose, make sure they’re genuinely on board with what you’re trying to achieve with your new strategy by giving them the full lowdown.  

Build an HR communications your employees will actually hear

Great organizational communications are more important than ever in the post-2020 world.

With thousands of employees still working from home and employee inclusion more important than ever, every company (no matter how big or small) needs to shift their communications to fit the times.

From breaking hiring siloes to empowering diverse teams, now is the time to show your employees yours is a business worth working for.

As long as you put the time and energy into checking every point on this checklist, awesome organizational communications are yours for the taking.