Employee Communication: Take These 4 Steps to Create a Stronger Workplace

The way people work has changed dramatically since 2020. Today, 35% of US workers who can work remotely do so all the time, and it looks like the hybrid schedule is here to stay. In terms of collaboration, digital communication tools have played a pivotal role in keeping everyone on the same page.

Workplace communication is vital to building relationships, making valuable connections, and accurately conveying knowledge. Organizations with remote workforces use mobile apps, collaboration tools, and intranet platforms to access resources in real time. But simply relaying information is just the tip of the iceberg.

Successful company-wide communication requires thoughtful planning. Otherwise, your messages risk getting lost in translation (or the void). When done right, individuals and teams truly understand each other and work well together.

The BambooHR® Employee Community is an internal comms tool that enables employers and employees to stay in touch. In this article, we’ll discuss why effective communication matters and how to make the most of the technology at your fingertips.

Why Is Communication Important in the Workplace?

According to Tracy Yoder, a veteran HR professional and UC Davis instructor, good communication is the key to employee retention. Investing in a culture that welcomes open dialogue, discussion, and feedback helps improve the employee experience, influencing more people to stay.

Employees, managers, and teams work better together when they can communicate well. Clear verbal, visual, and written communication avoids misconceptions, resolves conflicts, and sets expectations. Constructive workplace communication also creates:

Communication Error: A Martian Mishap

On the other hand, miscommunication can be quite costly. One famous example is the Mars Climate Orbiter. This spacecraft was designed to help NASA explore the Red Planet, but an unfortunate miscommunication from Earth resulted in mission failure. The commands sent in English units instead of the metric standard led to navigational problems, and it ended up disintegrating in the Martian atmosphere.

Now, the average employee may not be responsible for an error at nearly this scale, but it can still hurt your bottom line. The Harris Poll’s State of Business Communication Report with Grammarly found that poor communication costs US businesses up to $12,506 per employee.

The Dos (and Don'ts) of a Hybrid Workplace

Hybrid workplaces promise the best of both worlds—but companies often struggle to find the right balance between remote and in-office culture. Follow these tips from BambooHR to cultivate a collaborative and thriving workplace.

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How to Improve Employee Communication in 4 Simple Steps

Using a centralized platform for company information alongside other channels is a good start, but a well-balanced strategy ensures these tools serve your company in the best ways possible. Here’s how you can improve employee communication and build a better workplace community in four easy steps:

Step 1: Define Your Goals

Before thinking about what information your employees need, ask yourself what you want to achieve. Provide a basis for your strategy with distinct, realistic objectives. For instance, your goals might be to:

Specific, measurable goals make it easier to gauge your communication strategy’s success and see where there’s room to improve.

Step 2: Consider Your Audience

One of the most effective ways to get your message across is to tailor it to your target audience. By splitting your audience into smaller groups of similar individuals, you can make sure you're customizing your message and highlighting what matters most to different employees within the company as a whole.

Marketers have a term for this: audience segmentation. According to HubSpot research, it’s one of the top three methods email marketers use. Some of the biggest brands rely on personalization to reach their target consumers, and this approach can work for your internal campaigns, too.

Identify the information that resonates with each target audience and which channels drive engagement in those groups. Here are some examples of how audience segmentation can work for your internal comms strategy:

Every company is unique and requires customized communication experiences, which is why different messaging features and methods are so valuable. Using a mix of features that align with your company’s preferences helps ensure your messages will get noticed and truly resonate with your employees.

Step 3: Establish a Steady Cadence

Set up a regular communication schedule that suits your target audiences. With a steady cadence, or messaging frequency, your employees can rely on a predictable routine and you can avoid the last-minute scramble. This also sets the stage for more open communication.

Scheduling is typically content-dependent—the posts with the most information are usually sent out the least frequently. For instance, a company newsletter may run monthly or quarterly as opposed to daily. For impromptu updates, it depends on the urgency level. Condensing similar messages, like product updates, into a weekly notice can help minimize information overload for your team and make room for more time-sensitive content to break through.

The key is to craft a strategic timeline that strikes the right balance for your organization and is appropriate for the information sent out.

Step 4: Gather and Analyze the Right Data

Leverage data and analytics to gain insights into the effectiveness of your internal communication and employee engagement. This information helps you fine-tune your targeting strategies to better meet your teams’ needs. You can monitor a variety of employee activity metrics, such as:

Also, be sure to solicit feedback from your employees and key stakeholders. You can create Google Forms and Slack polls to gather information or host one-on-one discussions to learn about user preferences, challenges, and suggestions.

Think about internal communication as a living project. Involving employees in the process creates a sense of ownership and helps ensure your efforts align with your team’s needs. And taking an iterative approach lets you systematically refine your targeting strategies to meet the ever-evolving needs of your employee community.

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