Posted by Sandy Yu on 8.16.2018
The financial industry is a fast-paced, constantly changing world. This means internal communications pros must work to improve the employee experience by keeping employees engaged and in tune with company-wide values and goals.
To do this, you must first focus on where internal communications efforts go astray in your field. So, we turned to internal communications experts to find out what you can do to improve the overall employee experience.
The loudest cry from people is, “no one told me about that.”
If we expect staff to do their jobs well, then we must set them up for success by keeping them connected to what is happening in the wider organization. It becomes even more important if change is on the horizon.
In a fast-paced industry such as finance, individuals can very quickly become disengaged if the communication pipeline is not flowing effectively. When this happens, it becomes a breeding ground for all manner of discontent and poor performance.
The blind spot for most financial industry leaders is they don’t really know the communication needs of different teams to be able to properly engage with them on their unique terms. Further, they do not sufficiently know the communication style of their employees.
Conversations need to be based on getting the mix right between business and personal topics. Knowing how to speak to different individuals and understanding them on a real and tangible level will deliver long-term sustained relationships and a greater commitment to the work they do. Not to mention, a lower attrition rate.
Communication is not just about whether the individuals wants an email, phone call, or meeting, it is also about how each communication interaction is framed. This comes down to setting, tone, use of words, empathy, graphics, and detail.
Finance folks aren't the best communicators. Even when communications and HR professionals work with them, they [finance SMEs] tend to put too much information into their communication and training materials.
HR and communications staff are challenged with providing information in digestible 'chunks,’ focused on the basics. Less is more when it comes to communicating changes and new information. Unfortunately, if HR or internal communications pros provide more information and detail than the employee can digest, no one benefits.
It's important to get creative.
Have an experienced employee explain the change or new information via YouTube video or use one of the vendors that 'white boards' information. Infographics are my favorite tool, as they're easy to follow.
When provided electronically as an interactive tool, well-written job aids are critical. They’re easy for employees to follow and they can simply click a link for more info.
For some employees, it can be difficult to gain a sense of well-being and significance in a field that is all about money and being driven to constantly do more. HR and internal communications professionals must try to get managers from the CEO on down to understand they have a responsibility to and for their people (i.e., their success and well-being).
But managers are in endless meetings and focused on their computers and smartphones, and thus, many of their people feel taken for granted. Each manager needs to develop their own customized plan to govern their time and attention so they may have conversations with their people.
They need to ask how they are doing, what they may need, and for their ideas. Managers should set boundaries for themselves so they may focus on their people just as they do on financial results. This will help develop and maintain a healthy organizational culture with happy, engaged employees. The achievement and consistency of a company results over time is very dependent on the quality of its culture. Happy employees do better work.