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Communication Strategies to Engage and Retain Top Talent

Posted 04/30/22

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Companies big and small are still challenged by a shrinking talent pool. The great reshuffle is here to stay, which has left the HR World shaken especially those not willing to change. Even some of the most highly regarded businesses, known for being the best places to work are dealing with employee push back and high turnover. This makes hiring and retaining top talent even more critical but there is a long road ahead.

Some businesses have simply thrown in the towel when it comes to innovative retention tactics. The mass-exodus of employees leaving is just too daunting. If you aren’t ready to throw in the towel just yet, it might be time to start developing a communication strategy to engage and help retain your top talent.

The Modern Workforce- Status Quo Has Got to Go

The truth of the matter is that the modern workforce is not motivated by status quo anymore. That doesn’t mean that employees can no longer be motivated, it means you need to pivot and give the employees what they want and NOT what you think they need.

Command and Control

For decades some businesses have operated with a rigid “Command and Control” Leadership style.  Picture this, manager gives order, enforces inflexible policies and employee input was not welcome. Sorry, but this military type of management style may have worked in the past but is no longer effective. Companies need to adjust and adjust quickly.  

Hustle Culture

The modern workers values have changed. They value their free time and want employers to care about Work/Life Balance, Their Mental Health and have reasonable communication policies.

Peace Out

For years employees were expected to spend their entire careers “working their way up” the corporate ladder. Today’s workers are much more comfortable exiting jobs or joining the gig economy. The evolution of the internet has opened people’s eyes to new ways to make money.

Today’s employers must be nimble and move more quickly to develop a real-world communication strategy to engage and retain top talent. The strategy should include honest and frequent communication designed to engage and motivate the employee.

Modern Communication Strategy Makeover

Makeovers can be exciting. Think about some of America’s favorite TV shows, "Extreme Home Makeover", "Fixer Upper", "America’s Next Top Model". Before giving your communication strategy a makeover starts with enthusiasm and excitement for the future. If you dread change the employees will sense it.

Get Digital

The old ways of communicating worked for a long time. This was before the COVID 19 pandemic forced most workers to shelter in place at home. Years later, some returned to the office, other didn’t and some workers are Hybrid. As work environments change so does the way we communicate. Putting a sign in the lunchroom to share information is no longer effective.

  • For the younger generations, email is also becoming antiquated. People want consistent communication from their terms. Engage with employees using apps, tools and social media channels like Slack, Microsoft Teams or Monday.com. These effective platforms also can increase productivity, teamwork, and engagement.
  • Use Text Alerts and Reminders to communicate with the team.
  • Incorporate Polls and Surveys to solicit employee feedback.

By incorporating technology into your communication, you will help create a sense of community, belonging and acceptance among the staff. This could be as valuable as pay, benefits or an employee’s 401k.

Less is More

Don’t get it twisted, we are not referring to less communication. The modern worker wants more frequent communication but with WAY less words and information. The average person spends over an hour a day on social media. They use real time communication platforms at work and consume over 10,000 messages a day.  When communicating with the team just remember to communicate more often with  less information.

Communication Do’s

  • Relevant and engaging information
  • Lighten up your content making it entertaining and informative.
  • Use social media, Task Mangers, and Tools to engage employees.
  • Treat employees as individuals, communicate according to their preferences when possible.

Communications Don’ts

  • Don’t send emails that should be meetings. Nobody will read it them.  
  • Don’t hold long meetings (more meetings, less information)
  • Don’t share “Need to know” information in physical locations

Motivating with Forward Motion

Today’s worker does not want to sit idle for too long. If they don’t feel engaged, valued, and heard they will move on to something better. Employees are motivated and excited by career growth, development, and forward movement.

  • Develop an Internal Recruiting and Promotions Program.
  • Create an Internal Mentorship Program
  • Create Employee Focus and Employee Resource groups to generate new ideas, encourage communication and belonging.
  • Support Social Cause and Facilitate Company give back days that promote Community Service.
  • Create internal marketing communication that encourage employee involvement.

As the “Great Reshuffle” continues, stack the deck with modern communication Strategies designed to engage and retain top talent before it’s too late. Your competition is most likely aggressively recruiting and courting your best people. Giving your communication strategy an overhaul by embracing an “out with the old and in with the new” mentality could be just what your employee needs to decide to stay.

If you need help developing a modern communication strategy for your team consult the HR professionals at Align HR. AlignHR works to proactively develop HR solutions to meet the modern needs of businesses and organizations. See if you could benefit from our HR support by completing our fast and free HR assessment.