How to Create a HR Communication Strategy
HR communications are a critical part of the overarching internal communication strategy within a company. Creating a HR communications strategy will help to get these key messages to employees more effectively. In this guide, we’ll share HR comms examples and tips for creating a strategy that gets results.
HR Communication Examples
To create a HR communications strategy, we first have to wrap our heads around what kinds of communication we’re talking about. A few examples of HR communications include:
- Employee benefits enrollment and general updates regarding benefits, employee perks, and special employee discounts.
- Company policy and compliance communications, including employee training, legal requirements, and company-specific rules.
- Employee performance, mainly in regards to annual performance reviews.
- Wellness and wellbeing initiatives to reduce employee burnout and voluntary turnover.
- Recruitment and onboarding are big categories of HR comms. Even though recruitment happens before someone joins your company, how they are communicated with really sets the tone for their tenure at your company.
- Employee exit communications. When employees leave, how you communicate with them can make an impact on whether they boomerang back to your company and how they talk about your brand going forward. The exit interview is a great tool for ending the relationship on the right note.
- Internal job opportunities. This can be a great retention strategy and a way to fill open roles with qualified candidates.
- Diversity, equity, and inclusion communications. This can include updates to your DEI policies or announcing company-sponsored employee resource groups (ERGs).
There are many other messages and updates that a human resources department might need to share, but these do cover many stages of the employee lifecycle. And it’s these critical moments in an employee’s journey that need to be factored into your communication strategy.
What is a HR Communication Strategy?
Since HR communications are all the messages shared by the human resources team with their organization, a HR communication strategy is the intentional and goal-oriented process with which you communicate those HR messages. Often your HR comms strategy will be developed and implemented with the help of your company’s internal communications department.
If your company has an IC team, we do recommend working with them and not acting independently. This is because the internal comms team is responsible for all employee communications and can help you create HR communication campaigns that get your messages to the right people at the right time and on the right communication channels. Internal comms will also have tips for effective communication. While you are the experts in all things HR, your internal communication team are communications experts. So, lean on them to create an effective strategy.
How Do You Develop a Successful HR Communication Strategy?
Creating a successful human resources communication strategy comes down to a few things:
- Have you clearly defined your goals?
- Do you understand each of your audiences and what information they need?
- Are you planning in advance with the help of your internal communications team?
- Do you have the right communication channels in place to get your messages to impacted groups?
Having clear objectives, the right audiences, the right team in place, and the right channels is all it takes to put together a successful HR communications plan.
4 Steps for Creating Your HR Communication Plan
1. Define your HR goals.
Before you create your strategy, you have to start with your objectives. What are you trying to achieve not only with your communications but as a human resources department? And furthermore, how are you going to help your company achieve its top-level goals?
Why is it important to set HR communication goals? Because this is how you will measure whether or not your campaign was successful. But also, if you don’t have a goal behind what you are communicating then why does it need to be shared?
2. Create employee personas.
Getting to know your audiences and what they need is a very important step when creating your HR comms plan. This is because different groups of people will require different information and training as well as various levels of detail. Your employee audiences will also likely have access to different channels of communication. So, defining your key audiences and how to reach them is a must.
3. Work with your internal comms team.
Your internal communications team will be the experts in selecting your channels, cadence, and spokesperson for each message. So, share your campaign goals with them as well as your overarching HR objectives. They will help craft a sequence of messages to share and also help you measure how each outreach performs.
4. Measure your success.
Work with your internal comms team to measure your progress towards your objectives. We recommend tracking your progress during a HR communications campaign as well as once your planned messages have concluded. If at the end of your campaign, you still haven’t achieved what you set out for, this gives you an opportunity to create additional follow-up communications.
8 Tips to Improve Your Existing HR Comms Strategy
You likely already communicate HR information. So, how do you improve your existing HR communications? Here are ten tips:
- Don’t make HR communication a one-and-done. Get out of this mindset and work with your internal comms team to create a long-term plan for HR communication.
- Audit your HR technology as well as communication channels. Are your systems and channels out of date? Or not giving employees what they need? Conduct an audit to find out where your tools could use an upgrade or what gaps you have in your strategy.
- Go beyond the goals of the HR team. What are the needs of your business? What do your employees need to be more successful? Ask yourself these big-picture questions to add more value to the business.
- Embed important HR information into existing systems. Use your existing systems to reinforce key messages.
- Lead from the top. Our executive leadership teams set the tone and are the example for everyone else at a company. Have members of your C-Suite deliver the most important HR communications to add a sense of urgency and to indicate that HR comms are important.
- Reflect on what your company offers. Let’s put the human back into human resources. To do that, reflect on your benefits offerings and company policies. Are those benefits really fulfilling your employees’ needs? Are your policies putting your people first or are they more about mitigating risk and helping the bottom line?
- Expand how you communicate HR information. Consider how employees will see and engage with your messages. Think about that experience and how you might make it better. That’s the secret to improving engagement with your HR comms.
- Survey your employees. Getting employee feedback is one of the most effective ways to make a quick improvement to any strategy.
What Are the Benefits of a Good HR Communications Strategy?
The benefits of communicating HR information more effectively are many. For one, HR topics—like benefits, open internal positions, compensation—are some of the most important to employees. If employees can’t find information about their pay and benefits, this can create a sense of unease.
But other topics, such as compliance and company policies, are need-to-know topics. Compliance with these rules are often legally mandated. So, ensuring that employees are compliant with key policies helps mitigate organizational risk.
theEMPLOYEEapp for HR Communication
theEMPLOYEEapp is already being used by companies in manufacturing, healthcare, hospitality, logistics, and government to improve employee communication. These organizations trust our app for employees because of our robust features and functionality that make it easier and faster for your teams to find the information they need, when they need it.
This includes our group creation and targeting capabilities that enable you to get information to specific groups of people. Gone are the days of poorly maintained email distribution lists. Our app lets you pull groups directly from your human resources information system (HRIS) or create custom groups manually or with a CSV.
We also help you cut through the noise with targeted push notifications and alerts. These notifications display on employee phones to alert them to information that is time-sensitive or requires them to take action, such as compliance-related tasks.
Our communications app also helps you track compliance with read receipts that require employees to certify they have read and received certain key messages.
Interested in learning more about how we can help you improve HR communication? Request a demo today.