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The key is communication

The other day I was talking to a friend who is also an HR manager and we were talking about engagement through communication, he is at a time of many changes in the business he manages. I talked about feedback from a manager about my communication, which was very effective and not very affective and how it brought me reflections on how to write something and be involved with the topics that I needed to engage people in communication, within the corporate culture of the business where I work . We know that the most successful companies are made up of highly engaged employees, and these high-performing workforces share a relentless dedication to what is in the best interest of their employers. This group is committed, determined and consistently fundamental to increasing productivity in the businesses in which they operate.

Every entrepreneur's dream, right?

But what is not so obvious is knowing what attracts these profiles to these companies, and even more importantly, what is the best strategy to keep them after being hired? Is it strong management? Money? Recognition?

I think they are all important, but I see almost a consensus among communication champions that what really sets the most coveted businesses apart from the rest is their commitment to effective communication strategies.

When you make a formal announcement about a corporate reorganization or talk to your group about your workloads, how and when you communicate your message is vital.

I have separated 6 points, out of the many, that I think are important to compose a winning communication strategy:

1. Invest in honesty

When delivering your message, be as honest and complete as possible, be transparent, and let employees know if there are details that you simply cannot share due to confidentiality. Even if they don't have all the pieces of the puzzle, they will appreciate your honesty and are likely to be more supportive and, as a result, more engaged.

2. Be timely

Don't wait until you have all the information to deliver a message. There is never a vacuum in communication if the message doesn't come directly from you, people will fill in the information gaps with rumors or assumptions - which can lead to low morale, mistrust and a lack of productivity. Communication is a process. Share what you can whenever you can.

3. Focus on consistency

Align your messages with your company's mission, vision and values. Sharing the "why" behind a decision or change in direction helps your employees understand the reason behind the decision. This builds trust and a strong team mindset.

4. Adapt your message

Make sure your message is meaningful to your workforce and answer the question, "What's in it for me?" This builds buy-in from your team and helps empower them to move forward with the change more easily. You will create a sense of ownership that motivates employees to get on board and do their part for the greater good. Employees who feel like they belong to something bigger than themselves will become your company's biggest advocates.

5. Encourage feedback

It's important that your employees feel comfortable sharing their questions and concerns, so your organization's communication flow should be two-way – a dialogue, not a monologue. When you encourage feedback and listen to what employees have to say, you send the message to your employees that their opinions matter.

6. Empower your managers

Keep your middle managers in the loop from the start. They are the voice of your organization, the messengers between senior management and employees. By empowering them with information and effective communication strategies, they will be better equipped to deliver consistent messages to their teams and provide answers to any questions that may arise.

In some cases, such as in a company reorganization, it may be helpful to hold regular meetings with your middle management to update them on the development of changes.

You may want to provide them with talking points that they can readily share with their teams to ensure consistent messaging across departments and to prevent miscommunication from spreading.

Thinking about all this, when I communicate something I always ask myself 5 questions:

  • What information are we ready to communicate now?

  • What information cannot yet be shared?

  • What communication channels will we use (formal and informal)?

  • What questions can we anticipate our employees will ask when they hear this message?

  • What are the appropriate answers to these questions?

Engaged employees are committed and motivated to make your business a success. When you harness the power of communication through clear, consistent messaging, you empower your entire workforce to do their best work and take your business to the next level.

Fabian Bessoni is an HR associate and columnist for Gente Mais Portal

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