Communication is definitely more art than science, but there are several reasons that mastering both the art and science of communicating with your employees is more important now than ever.
- Benefits are more meaningful to employees than ever before. At a time when salaries are frozen and bonuses rare, the benefits package becomes a larger and larger percentage of total compensation. Also, with the tight economic environment, employees are more sensitive than ever to out-of-pocket expenses and want to know how to keep them to a minimum. As benefits become more meaningful, and consequently more visible to employees, the benefits program takes on a more significant role within the employer's overall brand and value proposition.
- Healthcare reform is now a reality. The eventual impact has yet to be determined, but one certainty is that it will reach all of us. Employees are going to be turning to their employers for answers like never before. While it is important to be able to react and respond to employee concerns, the best employers will take a proactive approach in communicating with employees. What an opportunity for employers, with our aid, to show sensitivity to the confusion and, at the same time, reinforce the value of their own offering.
- The Internet and social media are changing the rules of the communication game. Reading this blog post is just one example. We are all increasingly expecting to be communicated with in almost real-time. Twitter, Facebook, RSS news feeds ... the list is endless. We need to help our clients embrace technology to get critical messages to their employees in creative, timely ways. The traditional methods of communicating with employees are no longer sufficient.
- The recession has negatively impacted the internal communication for many organizations. As companies struggled to survive, communicating with employees has largely been overlooked. As a result, employee disengagement is at an all time high. Now is the time to re-establish the lines of communication, and help the employees to once again feel they are an integral part of the company and its future.
- Finally, there is no better way to drive a return on your benefits investment. Employees in modest, but well communicated programs will consistently place a higher value on their benefits program than do employees in extremely rich, but poorly communicated programs.
We can no longer look at communicating with employees about their benefits program as an annual event; it has to be an ongoing endeavor. Also remember, one message doesn’t fit all and to successfully get the message through, you have to be using every medium at your disposal.
How are you helping clients with their employee communication? Are they asking you to help them with communications? What challenges are you seeing?
Photo by Dricker94.