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Automating the Employee Communication Process (Part 1 of 4)

Posted by EmployeeChannel on 5.10.2018

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In a recent blog, “Are We Headed Toward a Perfect Storm in Workforce Communications?,” we suggested taking four actions to address the communication requirements of a digital workforce:

  1. Automate the employee communication process. 
  2. Provide coaching to improve the communication skills of line managers. 
  3. Develop a clear understanding of employee engagement through communication analytics. 
  4. Re-instrument employee communication with fit-to-purpose channels. 

Over the next few weeks, we’ll drill down on each of these, beginning with the need to automate the employer-to-employee communication process.

We’ve spent decades and countless dollars automating business processes in every part of our organizations. For example, we’ve developed highly automated systems for communicating with customers and clients.

However, one of our most critical business processes, communicating with employees, remains largely unstructured and unautomated.

Consider two challenges we face:

  • The development and planning of an employee communications strategy is typically not automated. In most cases, communication strategy—if captured at all—is documented in a Word doc, a spreadsheet, or a presentation.  That’s using technology; that’s not automating the process.
  • Most communications are ad hoc, created for a specific task at a specific moment in time. They are typically not part of a coordinated and automated series of communications that work in unison to inform and engage employees.

Applying the well-understood principles of marketing automation to employee communication can address both challenges.  A proper solution should provide:

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  • A framework for tying communication objectives to business objectives. In digital marketing, the objectives are consumer transactions.  In internal communications, the objectives must be increased employee engagement and productivity.
  • Automated campaign management that enables you to create a series of coordinated communications across multiple touch points, over an extended period of time. In digital marketing, we automate campaigns to optimize the number of "impressions" a consumer will experience. In employee communication, we must optimize our "reach" by providing employees important and relevant information.
  • List management that enables you to segment and target employees with audience-specific communications. Targeting is the life blood of digital marketing; the better you target, the greater the number of transactions.  In employee communication, the better you target, the more relevant the information will be to the employee and the more engaged they’re likely to be.
  • Analytics that allow you to understand the performance of campaigns, individual communications, and employee feedback. In digital marketing, analytics provide the foundation for refining the message, improving consumer targeting, and driving transactions. In employee communication, analytics can provide the foundation for refining your message, improving your reach, and increasing employee engagement.

Technology has consistently enhanced the productivity of humans. Automation of workforce communications can make us better communicators, our digital communications more effective, and our employees more engaged. Most importantly, it can free of us to focus on impactful face-to-face interactions.

Stay tuned to the EmployeeChannel blog for part two of this series on employee communication. 

Topics: employee communication, workplace communication

Human Resources Today