Good HR enables good communication

Good HR practices are key to good internal communication. ICSC explains this important relationship.

HR and internal communication have common interests when it comes to communicating with employees. The aim of internal communication is to engage and motivate employees via well-crafted messages. As employee champions within the workplace, HR has a pivotal role in keeping employees engaged at all levels and motivating them to achieve their personal goals and the organisational goals. There is therefore considerable common ground between these two functions.

This becomes particularly relevant during times of change or disruption, when both HR and internal communication are on the frontline as they help employees navigate new territory or ways of working. “Today’s employees expect a consumer-like communications experience: worthy of their time, meaningful, easy to consume, delightful and consistent. It is important to create the space for employees as whole persons, not just the numbers or functions. Employees want to know what their role is in the organisation, what expectations others have of them, and how they will be affected by decisions and changes within the organisation,” says ICSC director John October.

If HR capabilities don’t already inform your internal communication, here are three reasons why they should in future:

  • HR has access to valuable employee demographics

The HR department has plenty of biographical data on employees, such as knowing exactly how many men and women work for your company, what their primary language is, whether they have children or other dependents and when they usually go on holiday. This information is very valuable when it comes to crafting internal messages. It can allow you to time your messages optimally and select the correct tone and content. At ICSC, we refer to the ‘Golden Triangle Approach’ of internal communication, employee engagement and HR. “With this converging approach, we firstly see employees in their job role as individuals and we communicate on that basis,” says John.

  • HR allows you to listen effectively

An effective HR function helps business leaders to listen to the needs and sentiment of employees and tailor communication efforts accordingly. An essential element of good internal communication is the move away from top-down communication, and a shift towards peer-to-peer communication and “down-up” communication, where employees talk to each other and to management, respectively. HR can enable this form of communication via internal structures within teams and projects.

  • HR opens the way for personalisation

Personalisation is one of the most sought-after commodities of the digital age. In an era of “Send to all”, a message that responds to specific user needs or requests is more likely to receive the attention it deserves. This can be as simple as asking employees to specify their preferred method of communication (e-mail, SMS, audio/video). “With three generations of employees within the workforce, organisations may need to communicate the same message in several different ways to accommodate various needs.  As employee demographics shift over time, the internal communication plans and strategies must evolve to meet the changing needs of the audience,” adds John.

ICSC believes in the powerful synergy of engagement, communication and people. With this in mind, we create insightful internal communication campaigns that work in conjunction with effective HR systems to reach the hearts and minds of your employees. Get in touch with us at communicate@icsc.co.za or call (021) 976 1918.