No employee wants to be left in the dark or feel like they are not part of the team. The more information an employee has at their disposal to do their job, the more confident they feel while doing it, one reason why internal communications are so important. When it has been clearly communicated to an employee what their tasks are and what success looks like, they are more likely to be more productive and engaged while at work. Employees need regular feedback on their work in order to be engaged. It is less stressful for workers to make small changes more frequently than to make a large change in a short period of time. When it is communicated to employees how their work affects the company as a whole, it helps them have a sense of ownership of the result of their work. Engaged employees care about their coworkers and the company for whom they work.
Here are four ways to increase internal communication to boost employee engagement.
1) Keep employees in the loop about new initiatives
As an employee, there’s nothing worse than having a customer, client or business associate ask you a question and you have no idea what they are talking about. You feel like you let them, and your company down, and it makes you feel left out of the loop, which can lead to disengagement. Empower employees with the information they need to know in order to do their jobs well. Slack is a great internal communications tool that gives you an option to make open or private channels to communicate organizational wide info. This makes it easy to it easy for you to inform employees of company-wide promotions/initiatives so that they are prepared the second customers, or anyone outside of the organization that employees deal with, have questions regarding them. Slack’s search function makes it easy for employees to find answers to common customer questions so that information is being communicated to those outside the business in a consistent way.
2) Enable employees to ask HR questions the moment they arise
Nowadays, an HR employee doesn’t even need to personally answer each HR question. We now have digital databases filled with answers to common HR questions. Even better, we have chat bots to facilitate the searching of these databases! Loka’s chat bot Jane, feels like a human interaction because you literally send messages back and forth using normal language, but they are much more efficient than humans because they can magically sort through tons of information for a very specific answer related to a specific employee. For example, let’s say an employee wants to know if they are able to pick up an open shift without going into overtime. The chat bot would be able to reply with how many hours the employee has worked and automatically calculate if the open shift would put the employee into overtime.
3) Digitize schedules and enable employees to make shift changes digitally
Gone are the days when paper schedules were pinned to a board in the break room and employees had to call each other to swap shifts. We can now view digital versions of schedules and immediately see when changes have been made. Even better, open shifts can be broadcast in apps on mobile devices and filled at a moment’s notice. Branch Messenger is an app that lets you fill shifts with labor across locations, allowing you to tap into a supply side of labor across your network of locations and fill shifts instantly.
4) Enable employees to privately message their managers
What a pain it is to track down a manager just to ask a simple question. Technology has changed the way internal communications happen in many workspaces. Private messaging via mobile apps make it easier for employees to get ahold of their managers and for managers to communicate individualized information to employees. There is less friction for managers to provide regular feedback on an employee’s work. Making it easier for employees to communicate with their managers increases employee productivity by decreasing the amount of time wasted on waiting around for a manager to become available. There are so many private messaging services available for internal communications, check out Hipchat, Slack, Campfire, Branch Messenger, Basecamp, Kato.im, Microsoft Lync, and Bitrix24.
Increasing internal communications via the four ways previously discussed, are sure to boost employee engagement and help you retain your best employees.