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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


Let's start this blog post by saying that I have no idea what 2019 specifically holds for HR Training and Compliance Programs – nor does anyone else. If I were that prescient, I'd invest in lottery tickets and hit the beach. However, there are some general trends and corporate realities that give us an idea of where to look for successful start-ups affecting Human Resources and where start-ups are facing trouble.

Health and financial wellness plans have evolved quickly in the last few years, offering employees newer and better options to relieve some of the money-related stress they experience and plan better for retirement. The next step in this evolution is access to personalized financial wellness plans for each employee. Why is this so important and why are personal financial advisors in vogue now?

Most employees are aware that they should not discuss religion or politics in the office, and not only to help preserve corporate culture. However, in today's divisive political climate, many employees are ignoring that rule and divulging their political views openly in the office. When political views are discussed at work, it can have a negative impact on company culture and employee communications.

There are a tremendous number of words and phrases being used in today’s workplace to enhance communications best practices. Some have become very familiar: corporate culture, change management, employee communication, business process management, and talent onboarding, to name a few. Corporate culture, in its broadest sense, is an organization’s collective beliefs and practices, which affect its interactions among employees and customers alike. There’s a phrase, “best practices,” that is used in business to define the most effective method to deal with an issue. Some companies become infected with what could be termed “worst practices.”

Why is branding and content important? If you think of your ‘brand’ as your reputation, your ‘brand’ as an employer should be positive. A positive brand means a positive reputation, and your employee communications tactics will work better, and you’ll get better job candidates.

Employee communications tools and apps can make a huge difference in office morale, internal communications, onboarding, recruiting, and many other issues Human Resources professionals work with every day. Here are a few tools and apps developments in particular that made waves in 2018.

Often, too often, corporate culture turns toxic and entrenches itself so deeply that the organization can no longer serve its purpose effectively. This usually initiates the most painful form of change management. You're the new kid on the block, new C-suite or director or someone else with some ability to make changes to policy and employee communications standards – maybe you were even hired specifically to do that. What do you do about it? Bear with me for a brief history lesson.

According to the Nemertes 2018-19 Visual Communication and Collaboration Study, over one-third of organizations are planning to expand video employee communications and conferencing technology in large meeting rooms (10+ people). The study, which examined five hundred companies, found that 20% of large conference rooms have video communications capabilities and that number is expected to rise greatly.

Employee onboarding has many implications for the future of your company. When new employees join your team, they have certain expectations. Most people are anxious about joining a new team, but your onboarding system can help ease that stress while setting up all newcomers for success. These days, video communications are making employee communications more streamlined, including in the onboarding world.

Training and compliance programs are vital to the success of your business and employees. There are many employee training programs that companies incorporate into their culture to boost employee communications, productivity, and engagement.

When we talk about branding and content and its relationship with employee communication, we’re really talking about emotions and perceptions. What your employees feel about the company they work for determines everything from their performance to their willingness to participate in your workplace community.

Tools and Apps. Everyone knows what the word “app” means. It hasn’t been around since the beginning of time as we know it, but it’s been in use far longer than many realize. According to an article by Thom Holwerda for OS News, the term was initially used in job postings for programmers starting in 1981. The abbreviated form of “applications” was utilized in employee communication and recruiting simply because job postings cost money. The higher the word count, the more expensive the ad. And programmers knew what “apps” stood for.

It seems pretty obvious that health and financial wellness benefits ought to be very popular and should enjoy high levels of employee engagement. Some are popular and do enjoy high levels of engagement, but many don't. To figure out what doesn't work is easiest if we ask which benefits get the most engagement and work backwards from there.

The race for better Millennial engagement and overall employee communications has made this question commonplace: When applying for a new position, do you tend to look over the company’s website and social media pages to view their work and corporate culture?

The workplace environment and employee communications are forever changing. The demands on today's managers are more challenging than ever. Bosses are looking for ways to help leaders manage their workflow and employees more effectively. New communication and recruitment tools and apps are helping many accomplish this task.

Recruitment and retention is all about finding the best candidates for your company and keeping that talent in-house. As always, employee communications is key, but identifying the best personnel before they’re hired is the best way to keep the talent pipeline open.

Recruitment and retention is all about keeping the life blood of your company healthy. Negative candidate experience can undermine your recruitment efforts before you can even focus on retention.

Conflict is a part of any office space, whether your employees are distributed in different locations or all working under the same roof. Since conflict is inevitable between humans trying to work together with high stakes, conflict resolution has to not only pacify the problem, it also has to lay the groundwork for better employee communication and engagement in the future.

Incivility is a virus that can disrupt even the most efficient work spaces. How can change management efforts and corporate culture training defeat incivility before it spreads?

I spent a substantial portion of my career in launching new products, services and businesses. Branding and content was always at the core of these projects – down to the part where the decision on the shape of a logo involved three meetings and two trans-Atlantic conference calls. Face it, the brand is the whole shebang most of the time: Apple, Google, Coca-Cola.

Maybe it’s a little bit of both but Adweek exclaims that 92% of businesses use social media platforms like LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter for recruiting new employees. So, maybe social media can be used for work and not just play.

Corporate culture has always been affected negatively and positively by how empowered the voice of the employee is in any organization. Recently, in the wake of the #metoo movement, we’ve seen harrowing examples of management gone wrong, and power running amok.

Simply having a health insurance plan available to your employees is no longer enough to ensure that they actually enroll. This can be incredibly frustrating for any business, as healthcare is part of any reputable company’s employee benefits package.

Employee communication is all about getting the same messages out to the people who need information. It’s also about personalizing communications so that each employee gets the information they need to do their jobs well and make good decisions. Video communications is great, but what features separate some communications platforms from others?

Information is key to the success of your business. It keeps your customers, partnerships, vendors, employees, and everyone else involved in your bottom line informed of events and happening within your company. The way you deliver your information will determine how it is perceived and received. Your company thrives on delivering information, and you want to ensure it is distributed in an effective manner that garners results. That’s where video communication comes in.

Employee Communications and video communications are becoming more intertwined every day in the Human Resources world. Even with technology changing employee engagement, the name of the game is still communication. That’s why I had used that word twice in my title.

Americans are worried, some more than others. The source of worry? Money. And as we are reminded in the lyrics to a song from Cabaret, “Money makes the world go ‘round.” It does. Money buys more than things, it buys choices. And there’s an unhappy percentage of Americans that correctly perceive they have no choices at all. This is why Human Resources departments and companies need to provide health and financial wellness options for employees.

Fighting disengagement is an uphill battle for any manager in any professional setting. Fortunately, there are tools out there to help you in the fight for employee engagement, such as video communication and good ol’ simplicity.

Video communication is paramount to any kind of millennial engagement effort your company can perform. The written word is not dead, but video should enhance and supplement your written internal communications.

Every HR professional understands that employee benefits are one of the biggest reasons employees choose one job over another, and your company provides great benefits—a quality health insurance plan, for example. In fact, Open Enrollment is coming up, so naturally your employees should all be lining up to take part in your health insurance plan.

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