Fix #3: Use Fine-Tuned Channels to Reach Non-Desk Workers

This is Part 3 in our “Communicate with Purpose” series, with fixes for the five most common mistakes in HR communications. Up next: Fix #4: Create HR Communications That Welcome & Include Everyone

You’ll face an uphill battle trying to communicate with all employees on just one platform. In companies with a dispersed employee base, communications don’t flow in a direct line through the internet.

A broadcast email or intranet post hits a wall with non-desk workers who aren’t connected to a device all day. And, when they turn to their phones after work, they’re not eager to log on and read HR communications.

Connecting with hard-to-reach employees in the store or on the shop floor is a significant barrier to effective communication in the workplace. It’s important to understand the structure and dynamics of the larger space you work in, so you can reach all employee groups and truly have their attention.

You can fix this mistake.

Meet Frontline Workers Where They Are

The communications channels that will best reach frontline workers are different (and more challenging) than those that reach corporate employees. This doesn’t mean you’re limited to posters and postcards. The key is to think outside your HR box, and stand inside theirs.

This back-to-basics tip only takes an hour of your time, and opens up two-way communications between HR and non-desk employees.

Think about the physical and virtual spaces where your frontline workers gather on shifts. Are there opportunities to reach them in a breakroom or bathroom? Entryway or hallway? Locker room? Safety and sales meetings, pre-shift or team huddles? Here are a few ways to think outside your HR box.

Ideas for Print

  • Note cards on manager clipboards — sticky notes or 3×5 cards, handed out in huddles
  • Flyers/cards/table tents in breakrooms or locker rooms
  • Banners at entry doors
  • Window/mirror clings
  • Articles/”ads” in other departments’ newsletters
  • Other home mailers — use clear envelopes showing messaging

Ideas for Digital/Other

  • Intranet web banners
  • Messaging on internal systems (time and attendance, etc.)
  • Internal e-newsletters (benefits, corporate communications, etc.)
  • Radio channels for truckers (if applicable)
  • Broadcast announcements onsite and in the store
  • Text campaigns
  • Podcast, webinars

Partner with Employee Advocates to Tell Your Story

Good news — some employees read and absorb everything you tell them. And your local HR partners can probably tell you who they are. These people are your allies.

Find your frontline allies and build a network of employee advocates. They’ll become your trusted resources and social influencers among peers at the local level. Read more about how to make the most of employee advocates and your line managers.

ICYMI: Fix #2: Simplify Your HR Communications, Yet Be Technically Correct

To learn more about how to reach non-desk employees, and how to fix the most common HR communications mistakes, download our ebook, Communicate with Purpose.

Download our ebook, Communicate with Purpose

Keep up with us on LinkedIn for more tips on HR communications.