5 Minute Read

Worried about keeping your best employees? Improving workplace communication may be the answer.

We hear the phrase ‘good communication’ so often it’s easy to become numb to it. But don’t dismiss it as being too simple when it comes to employee retention.

We are never too old to examine our communication skills. Remember what we were supposed to have learned in kindergarten?

Let’s review:

  • Set a tone of respect and civility.
  • Look at the person when you are talking to them.
  • Use ‘please’ and ‘thank you.’ Always.
  • Don’t interrupt. Wait until the person finishes before jumping in.
  • Listen to the other person’s opinion.

Do managers practice these fundamentals at your company? 

Good communication is especially important when giving criticism. Here is some guidance:

  • Do it face-to-face (no emails!).
  • Do it in private.
  • Ask questions first.
  • Be objective—don’t get personal.
  • Work with the employee to find a solution.

Human Resources Can Improve Communication at Your Company

Human resources can lead the way in improving communication at your business. What is HR’s role in company-wide communication? Training managers is paramount.

HR directors train managers to do the following:

  • Highlight each employee’s unique contributions.
  • Trust their team members’ ideas.
  • Ask employees regularly if communication is working.

Good Communicators Are Accessible

Have an open door policy. This goes for managers and HR. Encourage employees to come talk as soon as they notice a problem. This will help you solve it before it escalates. Many employees have left a job because a small problem wasn’t caught early.

Make Human Resources Easier to Understand

Human Resources functions are inherently confusing. Tax forms. Health plan information. PTO structures. Company policies.

New hires, especially, can feel overwhelmed when presented with seemingly endless paperwork.

Online Human Resources portals can simplify all those documents.  Employees complete workflows from the same HR dashboard. They access everything from an easy-to-navigate ‘home base.’

It might seem counterintuitive to improve communication with employee self-service. But that’s not the case. When employees have tools to solve HR problems, it de-stresses their jobs considerably.

HR is still there when they need it. They can talk to a real person if they can’t find the answer in the portal. But the portal provides answers to most HR issues.

People who run their lives with their smartphone prefer self-service. It’s faster. You can do it at your convenience.

Human Resources Self-Management

Let your employees handle Human Resources transactions. They manage their lives with online accounts and phone apps. That’s what they’re used to. Nobody has the patience for paper forms.

The Advantages of a Unified System

Disparate systems are harder to manage. Plus they cost more. A Human Resources interface eliminates confusion. It promotes efficiency. It shows your company’s commitment to their employees.

  • Company directory
  • Time cards
  • Punch in/out
  • Remote hours tracking
  • Benefits management
  • Shift schedules
  • Payroll information
  • PTO accrual reports
  • Time-off requests
  • Shift trade boards
  • Employee engagement
  • Performance reviews
  • Employee recognition

Most HR portals are highly customizable. Use only what your employees need. You can always add components later.

HR Portals Strengthen Corporate Identity

HR portals strengthen your company brand. This helps your workforce feel unified and focused on the corporate mission. A branded online portal helps offsite employees feel part of the team.

HR Portals Help Managers Be More Effective

HR portals benefit managers as well. They transfer many time-consuming tasks to employees. This helps managers be more efficient with the remaining tasks. When employees handle most HR functions, managers can focus on helping team members succeed. 

These are some of the tools for managers:

  • Drag-and-drop schedule templates
  • Schedule rules
  • Shift change approvals
  • Employee auto-notifications
  • Time and attendance monitoring
  • Overtime alerts
  • Flexible scheduling
  • Vacation request approvals

If You Have a Human Resources Portal, Do You Need an HR Director?

Some smaller companies don’t believe they need a Human Resources director. If your company is small—say less than 30 employees—you might be able to manage without a dedicated HR person. It depends on the nature of your business and the characteristics of your staff.

Is your company struggling to keep your best employees? If this is the case, we recommend hiring an HR director. Regardless of the size of your organization.

Stay Interviews For Immediate Intervention

Poor communication decreases employee satisfaction. Do your best employees seem restless? In addition to improving communication, you need a structured retention program.

You can jumpstart your program with ‘stay interviews.’ This will help you or your HR director zero in on specific problems. It will help you work out the details of your plan.

The goals of a stay interview are:

  • Determine how likely an employee is to continue working for your organization
  • Find out what problems are affecting the employee’s job satisfaction
  • If the employee or team is generally happy at work, find out why and duplicate it for other teams
  • Find out if the employee is satisfied with their manager—use this to better train managers

An HR director doesn’t diminish the importance of managers. A director supports and guides the managers. They bring structure and organization. They ensure fairness and transparency for performance reviews, promotion decisions, vacation requests, and discipline.

SwipeClock Human Resources Software

Human Resources technology can improve communication at your business. This, in turn, helps you keep your best employees. To learn more about SwipeClock Human Resources solutions, visit SwipeClock WorkforceHUB.

By Liz Strikwerda