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Employee Communications Council Blog

Insightful blog posts written by corporate communications professionals on ways to improve employee engagement, organizational change management and internal communication strategies


For some high school and college students, summer is the time to get away from the regimens of classes, lectures and “school” life. For others, the 8-12 week period is the doorway to firsthand experiences of employee communication in real-world employment. Although some organizations offer internship programs year-round, summer is the peak season for intern endeavors.

The summer holidays are nearly upon us. This is the time for vacations, outdoor bar-be-ques, traveling, sun, and fun. Today, corporate culture is forgiving of summer vacations, usually around July 4th and mid-August. The time is now to gear your employees up between their vacation times.

Employee benefits and compensation have started to become less important in the changing job marketplace, but they still remain a top reason why employees stay with an organization or leave. Making it easy for employees to use their benefits improves engagement and performance.

Summer is underway and for a lot of businesses, it is also slow season! With slow season comes more time to revamp your brand message and bring on new employees for a fresh perspective. Whether it be new college grads or someone changing careers or direction, Employee Onboarding in the summer season can present opportunities for both parties.

Every article you’ve ever read about bosses starts with this quote:

“Employees don’t quit jobs. They quit bosses.”

After the now-famous meeting of the 17 people who would build the Agile Manifesto in 2001, their revolutionary ideas have infiltrated not just the world of software development, but also all facets of business organization, Human Resources, and corporate culture. How has culture and management improved since the advent of Agile, and how can you use the Agile Manifesto to improve your workplace culture?

Progressive and forward-thinking companies are embracing diversity and inclusion as a viable way to stay relevant and maintain a stable and prosperous business. A diverse team will help you better understand different cultures and languages, which can strengthen your services and brand.

Should employee benefits include summer vacation as a matter of course? The data says ‘yes.’

Your employees might be confused when they walk into the office for the first time and are handed an employee benefits and compensation packet showing the various options and benefits of a 401(b) retirement plan rather than the standard 401(k).

That is, of course, something of a trick question. Retaining employees is a major part of building a strong operation, but retention of employees is not the primary goal of a business or other organization. Apple Computer may be good at retaining employees, but its top priority is to generate a profit for shareholders, and it does so by producing technology people want to buy. Because it is successful at making a profit with nifty iPhones and such, people like to work there. Yet, I am certain that there is a manager somewhere at Apple who has driven down morale and has lost some good people owing to a management style that does address employee retention.

A boss’ job is to direct and lead his team towards a common goal that is consistent with the overall business message. A boss’ job is to instruct and give necessary feedback to improve the workings of employees. Most importantly, a boss’ job is to ensure the belief in what the company stands for and encourage others to become as passionate as he/she is.

If you want to make your workplace more attractive to today’s workers and keep them happy once they’re hired, your employees should feel a sense of inclusion. Because feeling a strong sense of belonging and comfort is so vital to a healthy company, recruitment and retention skyrockets when employees feel like they work in an office of inclusion.

Some companies view on-boarding as something to do that has little impact on the company other than allowing new-hires the opportunity to fill out numerous forms or read company policies and history. But employee onboarding is much more than this.

One by-product of workplaces spreading beyond office walls and to the coordination of many workers around the globe all at once is increasing diversity in workforces. Now, workplace diversity is a necessity for many companies. How can the Human Resources department help support everyone spread all over the globe be more productive and understood?

It’s 2009. You own a company that’s been doing fairly well. It’s not at the top of the field, but it’s comfortably living among the mid-range organizations in its business arena. Then the bottom falls out of its market.

Millennial engagement and career fulfillment begins with the employer and ends with the employee. If a position does not offer an employee the favorable factor (s) of work and life balance, most millennials tend to look elsewhere.

The term “office environment” can often be an alternative way of saying frustration and angst, and that is exactly what you don't want it to be. In fact, there is probably a mathematical formula somewhere that shows success going down as these go up. And vice versa.

Financial wellness has long been a hot topic for employees and employers even before millennials started taking jobs while saddled with huge student debt amounts. With tax season mostly over, there’s no better time to discuss how you can help employees be more secure with their finances.

If someone tells you that employee benefits communication doesn’t matter when hiring and retaining skilled employees, they’re lying.

When you’re in a toxic office situation, it’s easy to blame the boss. Managers have gotten away with uncivil work environments in the name of ‘getting things done’ for decades, but with the rising tensions in the workforce and the winds of change blowing, incivility can cost organizations much more than hurt feelings. In many cases, the costs of incivility spreading throughout a corporate culture outweigh the benefits of ‘getting things done.’

Almost every week, we read in the news of a company's data security breach, and personal information used for employee benefits is vulnerable to crooks and identity thieves.

Business is rife with catch phrases, and has been for quite some time. Some are horrid clichés…”run it up the flagpole” or “drink the Kool-Aid.” In fact, in an article for Business Insider, Jacquelyn Smith found 26 catch phrases that are as annoying as the muddied use of the word “literally,” which is presently considered one of the most annoying and misused words in English.

On the surface, recruitment and retention seems straightforward. You find the best people for your organization, you hire them, you make them happy, and in return, you get great results, happy clients, and more money for everyone. What makes it complicated is that everyone is trying to do the same thing, and your rivals are looking for the same candidates as you are.

Rising concerns over financial wellness plans like retirement programs are trickling down to younger generations of workers who want to plan ahead. Already, many companies are improving their retirement plan options for their employees, making them more streamlined and easy to use, to help provide for better employee financial wellness.

In my 35 years working in the private sector, the thing that appalls me most is incivility in the workplace. People who normally mind their Ps and Qs outside the office or shop can turn into the rudest individuals around. And people who are a little coarse to begin with turn into monsters. It affects everything in an organization from customer service to recruitment and retention.

What does it mean for workplaces to be diverse? Does it always have to do with race? The answer is no.

Shifts in the basic understanding of how we work is changing all parts of Human Resources, including what it means to be engaged, and even what it means to be a ‘typical’ worker. Employee onboarding is changing rapidly because the ‘typical’ employee is changing. Technology, like video communications systems, is both fueling the change and helping managers adapt. How can the shift to video help you?

You’ve probably heard of how millennials are taking over the workforce, creating drastic changes in offices and the very nature of work itself. As a result of Generation Y entering careers and the workforce over the past decade or so, companies have to compete to lure up-and-coming talent, and employee benefits is one way to do that.

To talk about how hyper-personalization of technology and management can help your company’s employee engagement, I think it’s important to define employee engagement.

The health of your employees plays a significant role in the overall health of your company. If employees are sick and out of the office, it will reduce productivity, which will affect your bottom line. That’s where employee benefits come in.

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