An HR professional’s daily job often revolves around seemingly never-ending communications. Considering that this is a department responsible for managing all of the employees and employment candidates for a business, naturally there is going to be a need for communicating with them. Paperwork, emails, internal memos and text messages can easily take up a large portion of an HR manager’s day. Because of the nature of the job, good communication is a critical part of an effective HR strategy.
Even though communication is a key part of HR management – and management in general – a lot of companies still don’t seem to prioritize it. Below are six HR communication mistakes to avoid for better employee management.
1. Lack of Clarity
When communicating with employees, there’s no need to generate a long, drawn-out message. The important information can get lost among a bunch of filler and can create unnecessary back-and-forth with employees that are just trying to clarify. Crafting messages that are short, clear and to the point helps ensure that your intended message will be received, and employees can get back to work quickly.
2. Including a lot of Technical Jargon
HR professionals often use a lot of legal and technical jargon as part of their job and when communicating with other HR professionals, but the average employee isn’t always going to understand it all. Using too many technical terms when communicating can be confusing for employees and result in the need for more clarification. As a rule of thumb, when crafting a message to employees, it should be stated as simply as possible to avoid any misunderstanding or excessive back-and-forth clarification.
3. Bad Grammar
Mobile devices are becoming more commonly used as primary communication devices, which comes with an increase in errors. There is an average of 42 mistakes made for every 100 words typed on a mobile device compared to just eight mistakes out of 100 words on a laptop or desktop. While bad grammar and typos may seem like a very minor issue, recent research done by a global communications firm found that inaccuracy and inconsistency in communication with employees can cost small to medium businesses upwards of $5000 per employee each year. Taking a few extra steps to ensure communications are error-free can save both employees and the business a lot of headache.
4. Not Taking the Time to Explain Policies
An extremely common attitude taken on by HR staff is communicating a policy or policies change but not explaining why the policy or policies were put into place or how they relate to the employee(s) in question. Not understand the “why” behind policy changes can leave employees resistant. Being more transparent and open with employees is essential to having them on board with changes and helpful in implementing them.
5. Using Too Many Platforms
In trying to make communication easier, companies can get caught up in adopting too many platforms. When different messages and projects are being discussed across various communication platforms such as e-mail, text, Slack, internal memo systems and more, it’s easy for a miscommunication to occur. Rather than trying to give employees a variety of platforms to utilize, the HR department should offer a limited amount of choices, with each one being used for a specific purpose, such as Slack or instant messaging for projects and collaborations and e-mail or an internal memo system for HR needs.
6. Not Allowing Feedback or Discussion Opportunities
Often, an HR department may change or enact policies without speaking to employees beforehand or allowing for constructive feedback. This can actually hinder improvement of HR issues and negatively impact overall employee morale. By giving employees the opportunity to discuss challenges and offer their feedback, HR managers may find simpler and more effective solutions than what they would come up with on their own.
Improving communication within an HR department is an ongoing process. Changes in the workforce, in company culture and even in the economy can affect how employees respond to communication. Human resources is all about connecting and communicating with employees, so it’s crucial to remain flexible and adaptive to ensure communications are relevant and effective.
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Since 1995, Emplicity has provided a smarter, more secure, and integrated platform of employer services to its 300 business clients and their 8,500 employees. As a Professional Employer Organization, or PEO, the California-based HR outsourcing firm simplifies the compliance, administration, and support businesses need in the areas of employee benefits, payroll, and human resources technology.
NOTICE: Emplicity provides HR advice and recommendations. Information provided by Emplicity is not intended as a substitute for employment law counsel. At no time will Emplicity have the authority or right to make decisions on behalf of its clients.