Does your HR communications strategy make the grade? Your team needs well-crafted and timely messages that resonate with employees. Here’s how one VP of HR Operations brings it all together to create maximum impact for her organization.
Meet Erin Miller, VP of People Operations for Transloc, a tech company that supports municipal transit systems. Miller, who joined the company nearly a year ago, hit the ground running with these three key communications practices, which she continues to use today.
Think like a sales professional
Miller, whose early career included a stint in sales, sees similarities between the sales and her current role. “HR is similar to sales in that both need to be the resident diplomat at our companies; and both need skill in building trusting relationships,” observes Miller. As in sales, good HR communication strategy starts with understanding what your prospective customer wants. “The last thing you want to do is roll out what you think is an amazing program but one that you haven’t gotten buy-in from the people in the company,” adds Miller.
Create multiple communication channels with employees
It’s important to make information available in a variety of formats, and easy for employees to access. “We’ve found that over-communication is very important,” states Miller. Consider both the frequency of message communication as well as the method. Miller’s team consistently uses “five or six touch points” including email, Slack and a weekly all-employee email, the “Transloc Times.” Additional touch points include flyers placed in the company kitchen, as well as announcements that run on the TV monitor in their company lobby. Miller has found that the most effective communication plans are those that start with simple, brief messages and build upon one another help create awareness with employees.
The key to gaining employee buy-in: leverage influencers in the organization
Miller and members of her People Team make use of an important aspect of influence: enlisting somebody else to promote your program. “Think about when we were kids,” Miller says. “When your parents tell you something, you don’t listen, but if your best friend tells you the same thing, it’s more influential.” Whenever the People Team has an event, Miller and her team members reach out to others in the organization who are active supporters. “I’m a firm believer that people vote with their feet, and you will get way more attendance (and buy-in) if you have people from across the organization supporting your message,” notes Miller.
To maximize your HR leadership effectiveness, give your communication strategy the attention it deserves. Try out these three road-tested practices to increase your team’s chance of communication success.