Todayâs HCMs provide the perfect platform to effectively communicateÂ with the workforce.
By Jennifer Ho
Effective communication in the workplace is an essentialÂ strategy for an organization to achieve its goals. ByÂ providing clear and timely communication about currentÂ objectives and tactics, businesses can improve engagementÂ among employees and reduce costly mistakes. In fact,Â according to research from the University of Auckland,Â 70 percent of business mistakes are the result of poorÂ communication. If effective communication can reduceÂ mistakes within an organization, why are 57 percentÂ of employees saying their companies donât provide it,Â according to HBR?
These statistics allude to the fact that there is a need andÂ desire for improved communication in the workplace.Â Studies of some of the organizations that have beenÂ ranked on the âBest Places to Workâ list have shown thatÂ effective communication assists with building a senseÂ of trust, reduces absenteeism and turnover rates, andÂ increases employee job satisfaction. So what defines greatÂ workplace communication and how can organizationsÂ successfully deliver it?
Effective communication relies on a messageâeitherÂ verbal or nonverbal (emails, text messages, digital, andÂ sticky note)âbeing sent and received correctly. This clearÂ and executable exchange of information and ideas is aÂ sign of a high-performing culture within an organization.Â For example, what happens when an employee leavesÂ a meeting and is unsure of what the next steps are,Â or worse, believes the task they have to do is actuallyÂ someone elseâs? How does that experience affectÂ productivity and perception about the organization?
While there are many barriers, including physical, thatÂ can prevent effective communication, the majority ofÂ miscommunication within organizations occurs due toÂ language, transparency, and psychological barriers. This isÂ why it is essential for leaders to exercise communicationÂ skills in addition to tech solutions to ensure they areÂ communicating effectively across the entire organization.Â By utilizing a robust human capital management solution,Â employers can promptly and consistently engage withÂ employees.
Steps to an Effective Communication Strategy
Strong communication habits not only separate successfulÂ companies from their competitors but also successfulÂ managers from the rest. It is the role of business leadersÂ and front-line managers to ensure the company isÂ achieving its goal by communicating to employees in aÂ clear and timely manner. While this is their responsibilityÂ within an organization, according to HBR, 69 percentÂ of managers surveyed responded that they were oftenÂ uncomfortable communicating in general with employees.Â Additionally, the research found that 37 percent ofÂ managers responded that they were uncomfortableÂ having to give direct feedback about their employeesâÂ performance if they thought the employees might respondÂ negatively to the feedback.
This needs to change. Here are three ways to improveÂ communications utilizing HCM solutions.
1. Optimize the use of HCM solutions. Though nothing willÂ replace in-person communication with an employee, HCMÂ solutions can increase the reach of communication amongÂ employees, providing a central hub of connection on theÂ platformâs homepage. Efficiently connecting employees inÂ different departments will further cascade messages onÂ changes in strategy, including updates to the companyâsÂ vision, value, and cultural norms. This approach will alsoÂ free up management and resources to drive growth withinÂ the organization.
2. Provide timely feedback. According to an Office VibeÂ survey, 78 percent of employees said being recognizedÂ motivates them in their job. By utilizing management byÂ objects processes, management can recognize employeesÂ who are focused and are completing tasks related toÂ the short- and long-term strategy achievements. TheseÂ achievement levels can be set at an individual level acrossÂ different teams and locations within the company.
In addition to using an HCM solution to easily provideÂ feedback, track progress, and engage employees, it is alsoÂ important to train managers on how to communicateÂ effectively during one-on-one meetings. This beginsÂ with building trust, being transparent, and having theÂ ability and willingness to listen. Conducting one-on-oneÂ meetings helps with keeping a pulse on the employeeâsÂ engagement, development, and other needs.
3. Encourage professional growth. In addition to utilizingÂ the HCMâs homepage and performance managementÂ systems throughout an employeeâs tenure with aÂ company, learning and development solutions will supportÂ engagement efforts and will ensure an employee has aÂ deeper understanding of their role and the organizationâsÂ values. Introducing employees to L&D tools duringÂ their onboarding process can assist management withÂ engaging, assessing, and closing skill gaps early in theirÂ initial training and encourage growth throughout theirÂ tenure. As more companies are opting for online learningÂ for their employees, managers can easily notify employeesÂ when new modules are available through the homepageÂ to drive the personal and professional growth thatÂ employees desire.
As organizations implement HCM solutions into theirÂ communication strategy, it is important to not overlookÂ basic communication skills that will further drive success.Â In addition to a robust HCM solution, business leadersÂ need to ensure they have developed the skills of oralÂ communication, listening, public speaking, and the abilityÂ to adapt to situations.
No matter the stage in oneâs career, it is important toÂ continuously work on and develop communication skills.Â There will always be more to do than time allows, butÂ by combining communication skills with HCM solutions,Â workplace leaders can effectively communicate across theÂ organization to create a workforce of employees who areÂ engaged. It will also position the organization to growÂ and develop talent from within. By constantly reevaluatingÂ the communication strategy in place, organizations canÂ address what is not working and restructure in order toÂ drive the growth and success of the company.
Jennifer Ho is vice president of HR for Ascentis.