Communicating & Engaging with a Distracted Audience

The SHRM 2021 Annual Conference and Expo featured an abundance of excellent sessions that focused on communication and engagement with a distracted audience – two vital components of the new workplace culture that requires a steady stream of fresh ideas and innovation to drive the future of work, regardless of what that may look like. Here we take a deeper dive on how to overcome such distractions.

Add Value to Your People, Products and Services

As HR teams continue to rebuild a workplace culture that now includes many employees no longer in the office, the key is alignment. Make sure employees are fostered into a cohesive workplace culture that presents a positive springboard to performance, safety and the important sense of belonging.  

In his lively chat, best-selling author and speaker Steve Gilliland said that sometimes we overvalue things, sometimes we undervalue things, but we must try to have the patience to understand the situation, especially considering so much which has happened in the past year.

As a result, he says, “Decide what’s important and never take it for granted.” Gilliland directs this comment to companies who perhaps in this topsy-turvy chapter in our lives have not had the right priorities. Therefore, as long as your priorities are in order and focus on what’s important, you’ll always be able to bring value to your people, products and services.

Communicating Complex HR and Benefits Topics to a Distracted World

On the same note, when priorities change, so must our methods of communication. Karl James Ahlrichs, Gregory and Appel Senior Consultant, led a thoughtful session on communicating complex HR and benefits to get employee and new-hire buy-in by using updated communication methods. 

According to Aptitude Research Partners, companies with no communication strategy are 3x more likely to lose high-potential talent, while 70% of high-performing companies are adopting employee communication technology strategies to help improve productivity and reduce turnover.

So how can we overcome turnover and improve our communication? Ahlrichs breaks it down into 6 steps:

  1. Communicate more often in whatever channels are available
  2. Make sure this is a “human” connection
  3. Use messaging technologies that drive collaboration
  4. Set the rules for when to use what
  5. Manage by objective
  6. Overcommunicate

Plans, policies, benefits and so forth can be too much for employees to process all at once, so to reach employees, simply deliver on what you promise and get real with them. Start with the basics: Target your audience. Be willing to spend time, money and effort, and START EARLY. Here’s to making that change—right now.

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