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Your organization has accomplished the hard task of attracting A-players to your blended workforce of permanent and contingent employees. Now how do you keep them? That’s a question that companies face more and more, as confidence builds in the labor market, and top performers feel more comfortable about making job moves. A focus on internal communications has become increasingly important as a way to connect and engage staff, and ultimately build a desirable company culture that encourages high-performance and instills the brand from within. Modern communication methods and tools are helping pave the way in this effort.
There is nothing new about the concept of internal communications. Most organizations use the same basic methods to communicate information across the company, whether it’s an employee publication or intranet, memo or all-hands meeting. What differs among companies is how these tools are leveraged, both to keep the lines of communication open, and to maintain an enthusiastic and positive outlook about the organization. “Companies that are most successful with internal communications use a strategic approach across multiple platforms – it’s not just about communicating company announcements but making a concentrated effort to define your culture,” says Scott Bass, director of marketing, communications & sales operations for CDI Corporation. “When modern, interactive communication methods are incorporated into the process, employers increase their ability to engage staff and create an environment where people are ‘checked-in’ as opposed to ‘checked-out’ at work.”
Bass provides the following insight to companies looking to engage with modern communication tools:
Extend communication through internal social platforms. The success of social platforms like Facebook and Twitter can have a similar impact when used internally. Internal social networking tools like Yammer provide employees with a quick way to share positive company news, recognize the contributions of individual staff, and collaborate on projects, with the added ability to include pictures, documents and videos. It also breaks down physical silos, exposing employees to other parts of the company they would not normally get to see. This can be especially helpful for remote contract workers who are often isolated from interaction with the company at large.
Augment traditional company-wide meetings with video and audience-polling tools. Company-wide meetings are a quick way to communicate information from the top down, but they can also become routine and mundane. There is only so much passion that can come from a static text memo or audio conference call, so bring to life the leaders of your company and others through brief video messages or webinars. This does not have to be produced by expensive, professional video companies. Most modern mobile devices have high-quality recording capabilities and easy-to-use editing apps that are more than appropriate for an internal communication. In addition, polling tools, such as Poll Everywhere, can help invigorate meetings by expanding the capacity for two-way conversation, and showing your blended staff their opinions matter by letting them vote on topics, instantly showing their feedback in real time.
Involve all levels of the organization in your communication strategy. Antiquated communication methods that just focus on a business leader addressing the organization do not lead to optimal results. Highlight successful individuals in the organization, both permanent and contingent, and have them lead meetings or draft communications. Allowing members of the team to share insights and best practices about their daily routines will not only help others become successful, but bring to life the personality of your company. This will also create recognition opportunities for your top performers, as they will now be perceived as the “celebrities” within the company creating even more stickiness.
Share highlights of your communication methods with clients. Companies prefer to do business with forward-thinking, modern organizations where all employees have a sense of pride. Your company culture can be a major differentiator when competing. Summarize your company culture, along with your communication methods that drive it, in sales presentations. Share examples of your communication methods to not only highlight this competitive edge, but to motivate other organizations to do the same. This “behind-the-scenes” look at your company will result in stronger relationships with clients, exposing the human element behind your company.
Implement communication tools that fit your business. Ultimately, no matter how fun or cool modern communication methods may seem, consideration should be given to whether they are right for the company culture, size and workforce composition. Focus on technologies that present the most potential for improved interaction, excitement and discourse across the company that will support business objectives.
Technology is enabling companies to breathe new life into standard internal communication methods like never before. “Leveraging these platforms in a meaningful way is increasingly becoming necessary to drive employees to become active participants in the work culture,” adds Bass. “While modern communication methods are not a fix all for talent retention, they are key in creating an enjoyable, engaging work environment that provides top performers with one more reason to stay and contingent employees to renew their contracts.”
Recent CDI Analysis
“Companies that are most successful with internal communications use a strategic approach across multiple platforms – it’s not just about communicating company announcements but making a concentrated effort to define your culture.”Scott Bass
Director of Marketing, Communications & Sales Operations
Employment Situation (U.S.)
The October Employment Situation released by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics improved significantly from September’s job report, with a total of 271,000 new jobs and a slight drop in the unemployment rate from 5.1 percent to 5 percent. The professional and business services sector added the most positions, increasing its workforce by 78,000. About 46,000 of these jobs were in the administrative and support services field, while computer systems design and related services, and architectural and engineering services added 10,000 and 8,000 jobs, respectively.
Industries that experienced little or no change to their workforces include wholesale trade, transportation and warehousing, manufacturing, information, financial activities and government.
According to The New York Times, October’s report is strong enough that the Federal Reserve could be inspired to raise interest rates in the near future. The news source explained that an unemployment rate of 5 percent is close to what many economists consider "full employment," which is typically accompanied by a Fed evaluation.
The full Bureau of Labor Statistics report can be downloaded by
Employment Situation (Canada)
After a few months of stagnant growth, the latest Labour Force Survey from Statistics Canada revealed that the nation’s job market is finally improving.
According to the report, employment increased by 44,000 jobs in October, an expansion of 0.2 per cent. The jobless average fell by 0.1 per cent to 7 per cent. Demographically, women 55 and older experienced the most notable employment gains. This population gained 92,000 positions since October 2014 and saw its unemployment rate drop to 5 per cent from 5.4 per cent in September 2015.
From an industry perspective, the public administration sector added the most jobs, creating 32,000 positions. Wholesale and retail trade added 18,000 jobs, while the accommodation and food services industry increased its workforce by 13,000 employees. Overall, the private sector created 41,000 positions while the public sector added 31,000 jobs. The number of workers identifying as "self-employed" fell by 27,000.
Huffington Post Canada explained that while some people are speculating this growth will be temporary, as many of the new jobs were products of increased government hiring, economists insist the report shows strong progress.
"The details [of today’s report] are quite respectable. Overall, the economy looks to be grinding along at a pace just fast enough to absorb population growth and keep the unemployment rate pegged at around 7 per cent for now," stated Doug Porter, chief economist at the Bank of Montreal.
Canadian ES Report:
Labour Force Survey, October 2015