Effective communication is difficult, even in the best of circumstances. Add in diverse workforces, remote teams, and the sheer number of communication platforms available, and it can seem almost impossible.
If you’re feeling like your message isn’t getting through, you’re not alone. Here are some key reasons why employee communication is so complicated, and a few strategies to help you improve.
Increasing age ranges
Your workforce may include 20-somethings just starting out, 60-somethings thinking about retirement, and every other possible age and career stage combination you can think of. 20-somethings looking to retire? 60-somethings just getting back into the game? Sure. Why not? It’s probably happening somewhere.
The thing to remember is that communication preferences will be as varied as your team. And with rapidly changing technology, it can be difficult to keep up with who wants what.
In today’s business environment, reaching your audience requires a range of communication styles and messaging. Using one platform will only get you so far. And it’s probably not as far as you think.
Key takeaway: Different populations and age groups absorb and react to information differently. One generations email is another generations text. If you want to reach your entire team, you’ll need a variety of ways to do so.
When it comes to communication techniques, one size does not fit all. The people on your team have come to you with countless life experiences.
Many companies are now embracing groups that have previously been left out, which is great! But this requires putting some extra thought into your communication approaches. You’ll want to be sensitive to group dynamics, and very careful with the words you choose and the messages you send.
Key takeaway: No one way of communicating is best for everyone in your group. You’ll need to employ a variety of messaging tactics— and a healthy dose of sensitivity. Choose your words and methods carefully.
We are constantly being bombarded with messages. E-mail, phone calls, texting, video, social media, and maybe even a stray piece of snail mail every now and then. Admit it, it’s tiring just reading this list!
Getting your message through the clutter is becoming harder and harder. You’ll have to find new ways to make your communications stand out. More importantly, you’ll need to make them directly relevant to your audience in order to make the short list of things that actually get some attention.
Key takeaway: Make your messages direct, relevant and clear. Use subject lines to your advantage. Let your employees know how you plan to communicate with them and then follow through.
Overload in general
Businesses are leaner than ever, and we’re all trying to do more with less. Sometimes much less. Perhaps ridiculously less. The reality is that we are rarely able to slow down enough to communicate effectively. To get your desired message to the right people, you have to make it a priority.
Key takeaway: Design your communication strategy so everyone knows what to expect. Then, take the time to communicate thoughtfully and with purpose. Rushed communication is risky at best and disastrous at worst.
It’s worth the investment
Recognizing your unique challenges and making sure your communications are purposeful, strategic, and well-designed will take an investment of time and resources. But it will pay off in the long run because your entire team will be better equipped to perform and succeed.
Plus, if you don’t have to constantly repeat, recap, and follow up on your messages or deal with constant mishaps and misunderstandings, you just might end up with a few spare minutes (or hours!) in your day.
And that’s something we can all get behind.
At Raffa Financial, we provide long-lasting benefits strategies to take care of your business and your employees. Located in Rockville, Maryland, we identify and manage complex employee benefits challenges for businesses all over the greater Maryland, Virginia and Washington, DC area.
Photo by brat82