Survey Says HR Communication Not Meeting Employee Needs

Julie Shenkman
Posted by

As a member of the human resources team, employees rely on you for good communication. Whether you are announcing a new policy or providing information about benefits, the messages you send need to be clear and concise. Unfortunately, a new survey reveals that many employees are unhappy with the quality of HR communication in their companies. Here is what you can do to improve employee communication in your organization.

Davis & Company conducted the 2015 HR Communication Survey to determine how effective HR professionals are at communicating about benefits, employee performance and compensation. Almost all the participants indicated they review the messages they get from the human resources department, but half of them feel indifferent to those messages. Only 30 percent of survey respondents were happy with the quality of HR communication in their organizations.

Now that you know HR communication is a problem, it's up to you to improve it. One of the first steps to making employee communication better is understanding how your messages align with organizational goals. Before you send out an employee message, make sure you have the approval of company leaders. Otherwise, you may have to rescind your original message and send out new information, confusing employees and torpedoing your credibility.

When you write a message to employees, be straightforward. Too many HR professionals run into trouble when they go overboard with positive messages. If you have to deliver bad news, such as a layoff announcement, be direct. Don't beat around the bush, or employees are likely to think you are trying to hide something from them. Every message you send should have just a few key points. If you ramble on for several pages, you run the risk of alienating employees instead of keeping them informed.

Every time you write a new message, have a goal in mind. Determine if you want to educate, inform or motivate employees. Clearly identifying your objective makes it much easier to develop messages that are clear and concise. Improve HR communication even further by having an internal committee review all messages before you distribute them to employees. Reviewers can help you determine if messages are easy to understand.

Finally, be open to feedback about the messages you send. If you are open to criticism, you can use it to adjust your communications so that they serve the greatest number of employees. It doesn't matter if you think your memo or newsletter is the best thing you've ever written — if it confuses employees, it isn't serving its purpose.

High-quality HR communication is essential for keeping employees informed about important matters. If you know your company is in need of a communications overhaul, do your part by identifying communication goals, having internal stakeholders review all of your messages and using feedback to improve your communication skills.

Photo courtesy of Stuart Miles at



Become a member to take advantage of more features, like commenting and voting.

  • You Might Also Be Interested In

Jobs to Watch