What Is Good Employee Communication?
Good employee communication keeps everyone on the team feeling included, valued, and well-informed. It’s an ideal state to work in, but it doesn’t have to take a lot of effort. The first step is setting up a system for employee alerts that meets users where they are. Cross-channel employee communication incorporates workers with differing access to technology, too. Some employees might not sit at a desk all day to check email. Remote employees aren’t guaranteed to have a smartphone. Good communication doesn’t leave anyone out, and it gives people time to act and respond. These basic elements like clarity, timeliness, respect, and documentation are some of what we’ll cover in this blog. We’ll also share internal communication examples and what “good” looks like for each one.
What Are the Elements of Employee Communication?
The basic elements of good employee communication are clarity, timeliness, respect, and documentation. All four of these benefit both the company and the employee throughout the relationship in various ways.
This element means expectations, needs, challenges, and successes are mutually understood by all parties.
- Clarity is achieved through explanations, willingness to repeat info, and using different methods to share.
- For example, an open enrollment deadline means expectations for employee action. It may require an email, information session, and a series of reminder texts to get the desired outcome.
This element means communication is received when the information is still relevant, and also that senders receive timely responses to concerns or questions.
- Timeliness sometimes means early preparedness, like communicating about holiday schedules or mandatory training dates well in advance.
- Day-to-day, the unknown creates a separate need for timely communication. Systems like Yourco can help managers and human resources juggle it all in one text message platform.
This element means the tone and content of communications are positive, inclusive, and non-threatening.
- Respect is a two-way street, for sure, but the employer must enter into every employee relationship with this expectation and set the example themselves.
- Timeliness and clarity are part of reflecting respect in your communication.
This element means communication is documented in real-time. This protects both the employee and the employer.
- Documentation creates a record of what was agreed, what was asked, what was promised, and how all individuals approached the situation.
- Through Yourco, it is even possible to document the text messages between employees and managers, and make them visible to human resources or other stakeholders.
What Are the Different Types of Employee Communication?
There are four types of employee communication: downward, upward, horizontal, and vertical. What is happening in all these directions? Here’s a bit about each one.
- Downward Communication takes place between human resources, managers, and their direct reports. This could be a shift leader talking to their crew, or a one-on-one message about a specific project. The importance of communication between managers and employees is very high. The information the manager shares with their employee is usually essential and relevant in the moment or the very near future. The tone and accessibility of the communication is equally important. Messages with a professional tone, sent in channels that are easy to access, means employees can receive the information and get on with their day.
- Upward Communication is when an employee reaches out to their supervisor or human resources. They might need to discuss life changes, ask questions about work, or even report a concern. In each of these internal communication examples, the manager doesn’t have control over how the conversation starts out. But staying oriented in good communication principles we discussed earlier helps leaders accept feedback or guide employees through challenges. Upward communication may happen in person, through email or text messaging. Regardless, respect, timeliness, and clarity are key.
- Vertical Communication happens between employees who are not at the same level, but one does not supervise the other. Employees from one site might need to reach out to another site leader, or the head of one department may have a question for an employee expert in another. In these cases, there should always be some introduction between the two individuals, and both parties should be aware they might be contacted.
- Horizontal Communication happens between employees on a team, or on different teams but at the same level. This specifically refers to conversations that are work-related, not friendships which might develop outside work hours. Managers will have very little control over this category, but can instill good habits in their employees and make standards of conduct clear. Good employee communication takes buy-in from everyone involved!
Include SMS Messaging in Your Non-Desk Employee Communication
Yourco is passionate about the importance of employee communication with non-desk employees. Texting is a simple way for Human Resources, managers, and employees to communicate, but organizations also need a platform to manage the messages and keep track of conversations. With Yourco, employees have the experience of texting while communications are managed through a dashboard on management’s side.
Small businesses and Fortune 500 companies across 25+ industries have chosen Yourco to power their employee communications. Learn why–and how your team could be next.