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What do employees want from the HR team?

August 2, 2017

By Heather Nezich, courtesy of SBAM Approved Partner ASE

A new survey from EmployeeChannel, Inc. entitled “What Every Employee Wants from Their HR Team” was released in early July.  The study looked at the communication preferences of more than 1,200 remote, non-desktop, and office workers.  Interestingly, the results were similar across all three employee types.

Across the board, employees surveyed stated that they want better and more frequent communication from HR and the organization. “We went into the study believing that we would find different communication requirements for non-desktop and remote workers when compared to the requirements of corporate office employees,” stated Steve L. Adams, CEO of EmployeeChannel. “It turns out that—regardless of their work environment—people are just people when it comes to communication. They all highly value communication from HR and would benefit from a new digital approach to employee communication.”

Highlights from the report include:

  • Employees believe effective communication is critical to creating a positive employee experience. Regardless of their work environment, all employee segments ranked “communicates frequently and effectively with employees” as one of the top two behaviors that creates a positive experience at work.
  • When asked how employers made them feel, only 16% of respondents across all three segments reported “connected and engaged.
  • Nearly half of employees from all three segments reported they were “neutral, disagreed, or strongly disagreed” that the HR team’s communication efforts made them feel more informed or engaged at work. 
  • 75% of employees across all three segments indicated that HR communicates with them “never or rarely” or only “sometimes.”
  • All employee segments want to hear more from HR. When asked how they wished the HR department would communicate with them, the top response for all segments was “more frequently.”
  • The three employee segments ranked “open communication to all employees” as one of the top two initiatives they wished their employer would focus on more, following “positive recognition.”

It’s abundantly clear from the survey that employees desire improved and more frequent communication.  Improved communication is a key ingredient to improving employee engagement. Employees want to be kept abreast of where the organization is going and how they can play in role in getting there.  Below are some creative ways to communicate with employees:

1 – Communicate visually – 60% of people communicate visually.  Use interactive visual screensavers to portray company values and vision. A picture paints a thousand words. Use screensavers to show a positive view of the company.  

2 – Utilize Small Groups – Smaller face to face executive communication, such as brown bag lunches and skip level meetings, offer a more personalized and engaging format for leadership communication. Employees not only appreciate the communication, but the opportunity to provide face to face feedback to leadership.

3 – Customize Your Message – Work with managers to make the messages you deliver as relevant as possible to different groups of staff.

4 – Utilize Social Media – Internal Social Media channels can provide an interactive online portal that allows staff to ask questions about any aspect of the business and their role within it.  It’s also another tool for communicating wide, broadcast messages to employees.

5 – Provide Department Highlights – Employees don’t always see how they fit into the bigger picture or why a specific department is working so hard on a particular initiative. Provide department level project updates and progress reports to staff. 

6 – Highlight Success – Highlight and celebrate successes – both financial and non-financial. Coworkers enjoy hearing about each other’s success, and it helps them to understand what types of accomplishments are valued the most by the company.  Employees and departments recognized feel respected and appreciated.

7 – Promote Opportunities for Staff – Promote internal vacancies and training opportunities.  Career development is one of the top priorities for employees, especially millennials. Nearly 90% of millennials consider continuing education a top reason to choose one organization over another.

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