As an HR expert, you’re faced with the daily challenge of engaging employees in a variety of topics: benefits, wellness, compensation, retirement, competencies, onboarding and more. According to a past Davis & Company survey, employees care about HR communication, but they aren’t getting what they need to make important decisions. So how do you know which tool to use?

Email has become such a default choice for communication that we sometimes forget it's not the only tool in our toolbox. Here are some situations you might face and the right tool to accomplish the task:

Helping employees choose the health care plan that’s right for them

Tool: Printed brochure

Couple reading a print brochure

Why it works:

For employees to choose wisely, they need time to weigh their options. A brochure provides tables that compare features of different plans, example profiles and an easy way to share information with a spouse.

Answering employees' questions about a complicated topic, such as a new prescription drug plan

Tool: Social media

Hands typing on a laptop keyboard

Why it works:

An online chat with a benefits expert provides real-time answers from a professional. 

Creating understanding and buy-in for a new set of competencies

Tool: Face-to-face

Speaker at conference table with employees

Why it works:

Briefings for managers, with tools that help them have face-to-face conversations with their employees, will give them the confidence to share and champion the new competencies.

Getting factory employees to participate in a wellness program

Tool: Electronic displays

Factory employee at work

Why it works:

Since factory employees are rarely sitting at a computer, utilize workplace communication to get them involved.

Helping new employees learn about an important initiative

Tool: Learning module

Employee wearing a headset at his computer

Why it works:

Learning modules allow you to have a little fun with what is often dry material. Create a memorable character that employees can relate to and they will be more likely to remember it.


Bonus: How do you know if your communication channels are really working for employees?

Ask them! Invite employees to participate in a short survey that covers what’s working, what’s not working and any improvements they might suggest.