Does Your Employee Communication Plan Need to Change? - Talent IntelligenceYou may want to rethink that next email blast.

Yes, communicating with employees is important; it’s an undeniably crucial — and often challenging — part of maintaining productivity and employee engagement.

More than half of the respondents in a 2015 Society for Human Resources survey said they view employee communication with senior management as a very important job satisfaction factor.

Just 23 percent, however, were very satisfied with the exchange of information between managers and employees at their organization.

Companies, it seems, sometimes misjudge employee communication preferences.

Employees want real-time, personalized responses to their information requests, according to a recent study from communication app creator Navera. Employers, though, often favor generic messages sent through traditional channels.

Email is used most frequently, despite the fact 60 percent of HR executives rank it as somewhat effective to not effective.

Select employees are taking extra steps to get an individualized response. Ninety-one percent of companies said employees call the HR department directly; 74 percent have had workers ask for face-to-face meetings.

The way you contact staff members can have a big impact on how well they absorb the message. HR data analytics can help you identify employee communication preferences to successfully convey information’s importance.

A few tips to maximize employee communication-related big data efforts:

4-25-15_blog.jpgGo directly to the source. HR data analytics can come from sophisticated software — such as tools that pull performance, training and other information from various locations to create a predictive report — or directly from employees. If you don’t currently have a system in place to obtain input, consider communicating with employees through a quarterly employee satisfaction survey — or sending out more frequent pulse surveys to help you understand how employees feel.

Even the most basic information can provide insight. If you don’t have access to the software or staff required for in-depth data collection and review, very general HR data analytics can still be used to track employee response to its programs. Employees not contributing to health insurance benefits or recognizing their value, for example, could indicate it’s time for HR to alter how it is communicating with employees, according to SHRM — to either convey the benefits’ worth or change them.

3-21-16_blog.jpgConsider pairing your findings with in-person research. Data analysis can help identify areas to explore in more detail, according to reward and employee benefits association REBA, which suggests hosting focus groups to get a more thorough understanding of how you should be communicating with employees.

Giving employees feedback, in addition to getting it from them for HR data analytics use, can also be beneficial.

Sixty-five percent of employees say they want more feedback, according to employee satisfaction measurement tool provider Officevibe.

Employee engagement may increase if you provide it. Research from Gallup found employees with managers who hold frequent meetings are three times more likely to be engaged, compared to employees whose managers don’t, according to Gallup.

For more information, review our blog posts on strengthening employee communication and engagement, avoiding missteps when communicating with employees and the three things your employee engagement program needs.