Effective Employee Communications is a Leading Indicator of a Company’s Financial Performance

Companies with highly effective employee communications show an average of 47 percent higher total returns to shareholders than companies with the least effective communications.

It’s easy to see how communicating effectively to employees translates to better earnings. After all, employees are the backbone ― as well as a major expense ― of most companies. Effective communications can help:

• Reduce employee turnover and keep them engaged on the job

• Improve manager-employee trust

• Ensure a smooth transition/change

• Reduce your health care costs

• Improve your wellness program’s ROI

• Inspire positive buzz about the company, and more

The operative here is “effective.” This is the age of information. You need to rise above the white noise of junk mail, email, texts, pop-ups and other unnecessary, but in-your-face content that threatens to steal your readers’ attention. Simply put, if your communication is not effective, it will not be read. And if it isn’t read, then there’s little point to communicating.

Here’s how you can improve your communications’ effectiveness:

• Ask and listen — Survey your employees on: how well they feel you communicate now; whether they read what you send them and why (or why not); how you might best reach them in the future; and what topics your employees want to hear about.

• Create a communications plan — A recorded plan helps you stay on track. Be sure to apply your survey results to your communications plan. You can have a plan for staying in touch regularly, as well as a separate plan for major events ― such as layoffs, introducing a new product line or production method, starting a workplace wellness program, or switching your health plan.

• Apply metrics — Look for ways to measure what works and what doesn’t work. You can count heads in a meeting, emails opened or links accessed. You can measure time spent on a web page or follow through with a task. Or you can measure impact, such as percent improvement or change to a communicated issue. Before you can capture this kind of data, you’ll need to prepare for it in your communications plan.

• Be innovative — Consider your diverse audience’s needs and create communication avenues that have the ability to reach everyone, such as face-to-face meetings, email, newsletters, social media, etc. Choose the right media for the right message types. Then employ them consistently.

• Train the communicator — There are proven techniques that help draw a reader in and guide them through the message for better comprehension. You can send supervisors and managers to classes or seminars to learn those techniques. If you have a trained corporate communications staff, arrange an approval process for internal communications just as you would for external communications.

• Ask and listen — Survey your employees again. Create an annual scorecard so you can track your progress and improve every year. An annual survey will also help you to stay in touch with the latest technology trends and delivery methods.

Employees are a major investment for your company. Communicating effectively can help increase the value of that investment. Make employee communications an important part of your overall corporate communications strategy.

Jeanette Juryea is President of QubComm, your Corporate Communications department in the virtual Qubicle next door. Send an email to Jeanette@qubcomm.com for professional writing, editing and design services from award-winning writers. You can also ask about writer training, brand/style guide development, existing communications analysis and more.