There are many keys to running a successful company. Organization. Quality products or services. Consistency. Hiring the right employees. But did you know that one of those keys, one that is often overlooked, is good communication within your teams? It may seem like a small thing, but its importance cannot be overstated.
You need good communication to:
- Ensure that workers know what they are supposed to be doing and are getting necessary employee alerts.
- Get ideas on how to improve the way your company runs or what it offers.
- Create a healthy work environment that your team members enjoy.
We created this guide to teach you everything you need to know about employee communication, including examples of employee communication and how to connect with non-desk employees who may be harder to reach. Let’s jump in.
What Is Employee Communication?
Employee communication is any type of speaking, emailing, or messaging between leadership and employees of a company. It can take place among people of the same job levels or between several different levels. In fact, in the work environment, this communication may go in one of four different directions.
Vertical communication takes place between team members of different levels within an organization. For example, senior-level employees might work with entry-level ones to complete a project. Messages will go two ways, from those at senior-level to those at entry-level and vice versa.
Downward communication occurs when managers are communicating with employees. You might see this in the form of managers training their employees, giving them feedback on their work, or updating them on a schedule change.
Upward communication is the exact opposite of downward communication; it occurs when employees speak or message a manager. You can see this in employee surveys, project updates, or requests to take time off.
Horizontal communication takes place between team members on the same job level within their company. As with vertical communication, it goes two ways. You might also see this in the form of group projects or presenting department updates to other departments.
Different types of communication work better for different employees. When downward or horizontal communication is occurring, it’s important to try different types and methods so your target audience understands your message. For example, desk workers may prefer to send and receive information via email since they are on their computers for a good chunk of the work day. However, non-desk workers, whether working in the field, in the warehouse, on a job site, or on a plant floor, may not have much access to their email. Instead, you might decide to send them important information via a messaging system like Yourco to make sure they receive it.
What Are the Different Types of Employee Communication?
There are five types of communication in the workplace:
This type of communication is all about conveying a message either through spoken word or through sign language. It can take place in person, over the phone, or on a video meeting. You may use this type of communication in meetings, while giving presentations, in casual conversation, etc. Especially in cases such as giving presentations, training employees, or having normal conversations, you may decide to use other types of communication to emphasize or support your message.
This type of communication has to do with body language, facial expressions, and gestures. You can communicate something about your mood or thoughts either intentionally or unintentionally based on the way you stand, the face you make when listening to someone, or even by the way you use your hands when you talk. For example, you might smile when giving positive feedback to express that you’re pleased. Or you might have a stern face to express the seriousness of negative feedback given to an employee.
This type of communication is putting numbers, letters, and symbols either on paper or on a screen to convey your message. It is useful when you or your employees need to look back at it later on. The list of common methods of written communication is long, but some common examples in the workplace include:
- Web pages
- Text messages
This type of communication has to do with presenting a message using images, drawings, graphs, charts, art, etc. In the workplace, you will mostly see this form used to better explain your point in presentations or to show data in reports. However, you may also decide to use them on flyers, emails, or text messages to grab your team members’ attention or to inform them of important news.
Whatever type of communication you decide to use, you need to make sure that it’s accessible to all relevant employees. That means they should be able to understand and use what you tell them. Effective employee communication makes that possible.
What Is Effective Employee Communication?
Effective employee communication is the process of clearly and purposefully getting a message across to an employee or manager. That message can include data, opinions, pertinent information, and more. What makes communication effective is the clear and purposeful parts. Let’s think about this in a work setting.
Imagine that you have to communicate to your employees that you are delaying work start time due to inclement weather. If you ramble in your message, they may not finish reading it. If it’s unclear what you’re saying or there’s some other lack of communication, they may drive in unsafe conditions to get to work earlier than they’re supposed to. In situations like these, effective communication can mean the difference between safe employees and unsafe ones. And that’s one of the many reasons why employee communication is so important (but more on that later).
Effective communication shouldn’t be saved solely for desk workers. Non-desk workers also need to be communicated with. And for these employees, email is not an effective form of communication. They don’t have much access to computers during the work day, and they may not have a data plan, internet access, or a smartphone needed to check emails on their phone. A messaging system like Yourco is a much better way to contact non-desk employees.
Yourco is a two-way communication platform for leadership to contact non-desk workers and vice versa. These employees won’t have to download an app or use their data plans for this platform to work. What’s more, 98% of texts get read, and the average response time to a text is 90 seconds, so you can be sure that your employees are seeing your messages. Yourco is a great way for managers to contact team members about schedule changes and emergencies, HR representatives to remind team members about benefits or other HR-related communications, and for team members to contact HR or managers when something unexpected arises.
What Are the Different Types of Employee Communication?
There are 5 principles of communication to keep in mind to do it effectively.
- Be clear and concise. Your message won’t get across if employees don’t know what you’re trying to say or if they get lost in all the unnecessary details. Keep your message short and sweet.
- Make sure you’re understood. You may do this by asking employees to respond to a message or encouraging them to ask questions or provide comments on anything you tell or send to them.
- Actively listen. Communication is about more than talking at someone. It’s also about hearing what someone else has to say. Make sure to listen to your employees so they have the tools they need to succeed and so that you can improve work processes where necessary. Actively listening also means you’re not interrupting the other person when they’re speaking.
- Take notes when necessary. This is a great way to make sure you’re remembering important information or something you need to do. With a good messaging platform like Yourco, all messages will be saved automatically so you can find anything you need later on.
- Be honest. Hiding information or lying about it will only hurt your work environment in the long run. Employees will stop trusting you, and this will decrease morale. When you practice honesty in your communication, your team members will know they can trust you and may even be more upfront with you if they have something they need to speak to you about.
Effective communication can have overwhelmingly positive effects on both your employees and your company overall.
Why Employee Communication Is Important
The importance of employee communication comes down to several reasons. Let’s take a look at a few of them:
- Keep employees informed: The simplest reason why employee communication is so important is because it keeps your employees in the know. Updates you might send may be about benefits, emergencies, updated work schedules, revised policies, etc. Whatever the case, your employees will need to know that information so they can make better informed decisions and work to the best of their ability.
- Build strong relationships with employees: When HR and managers effectively communicate with employees, employees are more likely to trust them. According to one employee communication research report, it can also make team members more confident in sharing their feedback if they see a process that could work better or an issue that they want to address.
- Boost employee productivity: Good communication within a company can boost productivity. It lets employees know exactly what their roles and responsibilities are within the company. It also allows them to discuss problems either in their role or in the company overall before they escalate.
- Improve employee satisfaction: The importance of communication between managers and employees is that it can make them feel valued within the company. It suggests to them that they haven’t been forgotten and that their problems matter to leadership. These employees want executives to communicate directly with them as well so that they feel respected by the executives.
- Ensure employee safety: In case of an emergency, employees need to know where to go and what to do. Such safety concerns may be inclement weather, a fire or other natural disaster, lost power, etc. With a messaging system like Yourco, non-desk employees can get these alerts and take action quicker than if they were relying on an email or phone call. Communicating with them in an emergency situation could mean the difference between life and death for them.
- Reduce churn: When employees feel valued and heard, they will be less inclined to leave. And when you consider that each departing employee costs companies, on average, $18,591, reduced churn means less training and more cost savings. Good communication results in team members feeling:
- In the know.
- Involved and included in organizational changes.
- A sense of belonging within the company culture.
- Motivated to do their job well.
- Grow your business: All of the above benefits lead to happier team members and, in turn, better business growth overall. That’s because employees get more work done and have better interactions with customers. This, in turn, results in happier customers. If you want your company to continue to do well, a good place to start is by improving communication with team members.
Effective communication with your employees is essential for running a successful company. But how can you improve it, especially with team members that don’t have a computer, company email, or an unlimited data plan at work? Yourco provides that solution.
Improve Employee Communication With Yourco
If you want more effective communication with non-desk employees, you need a solution that they can use wherever they are. You need Yourco. Our platform is a two-way communication system that doesn’t require employees to download an app to their phone. Using a web app, HR and managers can send messages to employees that are delivered as SMS text messages.
What’s more, all messages are saved and logged, even on terminated staff. This comes in handy for any time you need to review historical communications with employees for operational and legal purposes.
Effective employee communication is not only about sharing a message, but about that message being received and understood as well. Yourco gives you and your employees a messaging system that’s easy to use and understand. Ready to get started? If you want to learn more, schedule a demo.
Yourco has helped me streamline communication between the field and the corporate office. The software is easy to use, and their service department is always available to help when needed. I am very happy with their services.