Too Much Data…Too Little Contact…Are we losing the H in HR?

group-conversation-imageToday there is a lot of concern around balancing digital communications with actual person-to-person contact. We text instead of calling. We email instead of writing a personal note. We tweet instead of talking.

Digital data collection and analytics allow us to identify employee engagement issues within organizations of all sizes across time. But we miss an important part of the story if we don’t include regular conversations.

Actual conversations reveal nuances of facial expressions, colloquialisms, and capture concerns too detailed for digital sharing. Combining human and computer “intelligence” leads to more effective employee engagement and internal communications strategies.

How to put the H back in HR:

1 – Revise your internal communications
Is your company language too formal or full of jargon? Change your tone and make your language more reader-friendly to improve understanding.

2 – Convene regular conversations
A regular town hall can lead to better information sharing. It can also help get a better understanding of employee wants and needs and identify issues before they become real problems. And, facilitating cross-team interaction builds new relationships and strengthens existing ones.

3 – Make time for one-on-ones
Beyond their teams or departments, employees are individuals, each with their own issues. By creating more opportunities for one-on-one communication, you will hear individual voices, demonstrate caring, and empower more employees.

4 – Optimize your training schedule
Is your onboarding too much, too fast? Does departmental education interrupt productivity? This can create anxiety rather than excitement. Consider how you might alter the timing of these trainings to better fit employee schedules.

5 –Be credible and follow through
When you ask for employee input, you build the expectation that you are willing to make changes based on what you learn. When you don’t follow through, you lose credibility. Listening to your employees and acting on their suggestions improves trust and strengthens your employer brand.

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