Communications, HR: Working cross-functionally to engage employees
The relationship between Communications and HR continues to evolve – especially as new technologies and innovative solutions to age-old challenges enter the equation.
The workplace is also continuing to evolve as employees’ expectations and communication preferences change.
Both Communications and HR professionals have a hand in building company culture, managing change, and engaging employees – all very important factors that contribute to driving business results.
So, how can Communications and HR work together, cross-functionally, to effectively engage employees?
Have a plan. Team up to support your organization’s goals. Clearly identifying a plan, including goals and objectives, will give clarity to the partnership between Communications and HR. Defining ownership and accountability for specific functions and tasks within the plan will also give clarity. And, as with any good plan, don’t forget to measure results. By soliciting feedback from your workforce, HR and Communications can find new ways to work together successfully.
Create culture. Leadership development heavily impacts culture so make sure appropriate emphasis is put on building leaders. With the rise of Millennials in the workplace, the multigenerational workforce is a real thing and it can’t be ignored. Communicating a strong company culture is crucial not only externally in the eyes of your consumers, but also to current (and prospective) employees. Most employees, especially Millennials, are looking for a job that has meaning and fulfills a purpose outside of paying the bills. In order to create culture, Communications and HR should first fully understand what motivates and inspires their employees. Then, tell a compelling story of your organization through the people living it (your employees)!
Embody collaboration. Work together to communicate the vision and values of the organization. Collaborate on an employee recognition program, from conception to launch, or create an internal video series that highlights the company culture. Regardless of the channel or format, share consistent messaging repeatedly. It’s a good way of working together to facilitate an effective conversation with employees.
Communicate change. It’s never good when employees hear about organizational change from outside sources before they hear it directly from the company. When it comes to change management, transparency, honesty, and timeliness are essential. Enable two-way dialogue and Invite your employees into a conversation with Communications and HR about the change. Be clear about what is changing, and what is not changing. Allow employees to ask questions and provide honest, consistent answers.
From communicating change, encouraging collaboration, to creating a culture where employees are engaged – the job of HR and Communications is never done, and inextricably linked.
Tell us in the comments section below: How is your organization’s HR and Communications teams working together to engage employees?
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