The human resource department owns the responsibility of managing human assets and ensuring that human assets contribute a profitable return to the organization. HR professionals are responsible for the following activities:
- Recruitment and retention
- Addressing issues
- Capacity building
- Communicating company policies, culture, etc.
Communication is the conveying of information from the sender to the recipient via a channel. Communication can include feedback from the recipient, depending on a number of factors like noise, packaging (wording, tone), and sender-recipient relationship.
One of the factors that influence communication is the authority of its source. Does the sender know what they are communicating? Do they know their role as the originator of the information? What are their capabilities as they communicate? There is more to communication than just passing on information, and when you take background influences into account, your communication strategies will be more effective. It is not about the strategy, but what came before the strategy.
The human resource department is meant to communicate the company’s roadmap to employees. Communication is key for HR professionals, but unfortunately, the desired results are not always actualized. Here are some common reasons why HR communication strategies don’t deliver as intended.
Why HR Communication Strategies Fail
1. You do not have a seat at the table
Many HR professionals act on orders or instructions that they themselves have no say in. The company has goals to meet, and sometimes, decision-makers forget that human assets are not easily bent. For almost two decades, business decisions have been made by professionals who are not HR experts, which can lead to ineffective or unclear HR policies.
2. Trying to fix everything
Many HR professionals get into the business because they love working with and helping people. It’s a noble reason—unless it gets in the way of providing value to the organization at large. As Arnold Kanarick put it, “HR isn’t about being a do-gooder. It’s about getting the best and brightest people and raising the value of the firm.”
You can be an agent of change
By being bold and stepping forward, you can accomplish your goals and help your organization thrive. Be involved from the start as you implement and communicate new policies and ideas. If you want to see a change made or a policy implemented, find ways to drive that change.
As a human resources expert, you are an agent of change in your organization for the better. As you identify and locate the best human capital and create the best organizational system possible, you’ll be able to increase productivity and satisfaction for your entire business. Focus on creating a system that is flexible and adaptable to change. It can be tough to be a change agent, but it always pays off in the long run. It is not about the organizational structure, but how effective the organization is.
Find ways to stay on top of what’s happening in your organization so you know where you can make an impact. You are the expert, and you have what it takes to help everyone around you rise. Become the necessary disruption to any old strategies that no longer work—you can be the reason why your organization moves upstream and continues to progress. Be proactive in everything that you do, and the members of your organization will follow your example and bring about change for the better.
How To Improve Your Communication Strategy
1. Be an Active Listener
Pay attention to feedback from your employees, and make note of what they say so you can remember when they leave the room. Have an open-door policy or a virtual suggestion box. Communicate articulately and give constructive feedback.
2. Make the Message Accessible
Make sure that the channels, as well as the messages, are accessible and understandable. If your employees can access new policies and materials without hassle, they can implement them easily. Accessibility also refers to size. Do not overwhelm them with pages and pages of information, or they might switch off and ignore it altogether.
3. Use Available Technology
Look for creative and exciting ways to communicate and implement them in your strategy. Technology provides many great options—just ensure that they are dynamic and attention-grabbing so that they’ll engage your employees and further your organizational goals.
As an HR professional, your work is not limited to conveying messages; rather, you are the source of the message. Own the information and then relay it to your employees in the most effective way possible. The only way that you can truly develop an effective strategy is by seeing the process through from beginning to end. Know your role and its opportunities, craft strategies, then deliver the information to the wider workforce.