Here’s a different approach for improving HR communication: Focus on time.
Our study reinforces what I’ve been hearing from employees for years: Employees care about HR topics, but they’re not happy with current communication because it’s too complicated and time-consuming. As a result, employees don’t feel confident they have the knowledge to make important decisions.
If you’re ready to make a change, time is a good place to start. Here’s how:
- Conduct focus groups to ask employees how much time they have to spend—or want to spend—on learning about topics like performance management, pay and benefits. (Prediction: It’s much less than you think.)
- Evaluate your current communication for how long it takes to consume. For communication that must be read (emails, intranet pages, printed material), figure 200 words per minute. . . more if the information is complicated and requires a high level of concentration. The result is likely to surprise you. One communicator I know calculated it would take an employee 45 minutes to power through an online description of the performance management process.
- Revise your communication to make it more time-efficient. There are lots of ways to do so: Break content into bite-sized pieces. Improve navigation. Use more visuals. Eliminate full sentences in favor of bullets and other chunked copy. Relegate details to a linkable background page.
Even small improvements can make a big difference in how employees feel about HR communication—and, more importantly, how well they understand important concepts.
Start saving time today!