Communications 9/14/2015

What’s in It for Me?

When creating your HR communications, keep in mind that employees only want to know one thing — what’s in it for me? You can communicate this clearly and concisely by answering three simple questions from the employees’ point-of-view:

  • What’s this about?
  • How does it impact me?
  • What do I have to do?

Use the second person, not third

Take the employee’s point of view, not the company’s. Use “you” and “your” … “you can access and use your benefits.”

Be specific

Focus your communications more on the “what” and “how” and not so much on the “why.” The more specific you are about the actions you want employees to take, the better results you’ll get. Whenever possible, target your communications to specific audiences so they only get the messages that apply to them. And tell them how it impacts them — they’ll pay closer attention.

Keep it simple

Not only should you write from the employee’s point of view, you should speak their language. Avoid acronyms and other benefits “geek speak.” Aim for a sixth-grade reading level — keep sentences short and avoid words with multiple syllables. This strategy will make your writing scannable, i.e., more likely to be read.

Make it relatable

People make decisions based on emotions, then justify with facts. To make an emotional connection, your communications need to be relatable. Use photos or images of people who represent your employees. If they are blue collar, show photos of blue-collar workers. When you’re trying to explain a complex issue, use examples or stories to get your point across. People relate much better to stories of “people like me” than they do to charts.