What are a few HR communications best practices?
From maintaining excellent internal communication to striving for complete honesty, here are nine answers to the question, “What are the best practices for HR communications?”
- Have a Good Internal Communications Plan
- Divide Your Communications into Different Categories
- Equip the Right Tools
- Cultivate Openness
- Develop a Communication Survey for All Staff Members
- Start With the Outcome
- Maintain Transparency
- Keep Being Curious
- Grow Honesty
Have a Good Internal Communications Plan
A good internal communications plan can help ensure you keep your employees informed of changes in the business, initiatives affecting them, and new strategies. It’s important that employees don’t feel like they’re in the dark about major decisions or product launches; being part of the process from the beginning will make them more likely to support it and work hard to ensure its success.
As CEO, I believe that clear and timely communication is essential for employee engagement and morale. It’s also important to remember that communication should be two-way: encouraging employees to share their ideas and feedback is key to a successful organization. If you have an effective internal communications plan in place, you can ensure your workforce feels engaged and motivated to help drive your business forward.
Michael Fischer, Founder, Elite HRT
Divide Your Communications into Different Categories
HR communication is a broad term that covers everything from employee onboarding to policy updates, performance reviews, and more. One best practice is to divide your communications into different categories and create content that addresses each one accordingly.
For example, you can create a blog post that addresses common questions about insurance and benefits, a video that explains how to submit a leave request, and a newsletter that highlights company news and events.
By dividing your communications into different categories and creating specific content for each one, you’ll make sure that your employees have the information they need in the format that works best for them.
Equip the Right Tools
One best practice for improving HR communications is to have an all-in-one communication system. Therefore, using a platform or a tool where employees can find all the relevant information—having everything in one place allows us to avoid missing some vital information. Most importantly, train your people to use the tool to the fullest and become a truly useful resource.
It is so important for HR managers to create a safe space that allows openness between them and employees. Establishing an open line of communication makes employees feel like someone has got their back and that their opinions and inputs matter. HR managers must foster employee engagement and treat everyone the same way.
Develop a Communication Survey for All Staff Members
One practice that is essential for HR communications is to implement a platform where all members of staff are encouraged to give feedback.
For instance, creating a communications survey that can be distributed to employees’ emails is effective by giving everyone a voice and autonomy within one’s organization. HR can then compile this data and evaluate a strategy for future correspondence that is even more successful.
Chris Coote, Founder & CEO, California Honey Vapes
Start With the Outcome
Receiving communications from HR can concern or confuse the staff. People often associate such communications with workforce, policy, or benefits changes, all of which can add anxiety and prompt reactive behaviors.
As such, it’s always best to start with the outcome. The outcome, a decision, update, change, or whatever it is, should be clearly stated at the very beginning of the communication. After that, state why—then the details can follow. The outcome, the “why,” and the details.
Maintaining transparency in HR communications is essential to building trust and engaging employees. Clear, honest communication is key to creating an open and safe working environment where employees can share their thoughts, ideas, and feedback.
Transparency helps to ensure that HR policies are well understood, that employees are aware of their rights and responsibilities, and that any decisions made are based on facts. It also helps to ensure that any grievances or complaints are taken seriously and addressed promptly.
Additionally, transparent HR communications help to ensure a consistent and equitable approach to the management of employees. By keeping employees informed about workplace policies, procedures, and expectations, employers can create an environment of trust and respect. It sets the tone for a positive and productive workplace, and encourages employees to stay engaged and happy.
Keep Being Curious
Asking questions, being inquisitive, open-minded, and non-judgmental is essential for HR practitioners. Actively listening to a person’s concerns or problem spots empowers HR to get to the core and be collaborative in finding the right solution and beneficial outcome.
If you wouldn’t want the media to know you said it or wrote it, don’t say or write it. As HR professionals, we should be honest, transparent when possible, and always tactful. So many EEOC cases are filed because HR said something the wrong way, either intentionally or unintentionally.
This is why it is so important for us to acknowledge our biases and work daily to address them. Often, something one may think is innocent or factual is harmful and a stereotype or bias that the person only believes to be true.
If an HR professional’s true thoughts and actions are more often than not rooted in bias and stereotypical assumptions, and the press or public could have a field day with what is communicated, don’t say or write it, and instead consult a mental health or DEIA professional to learn why you may think like this and how to change it.
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