It might be the recruiter’s job to vet hundreds of applications to find the best employees, but you, as a public relations professional, have to help maintain employee satisfaction once they’ve entered the company workforce.
This may be easier said than done (and, believe me, it is), but with the right branding and communication strategies, your best employees will never want to leave.
MESSAGES TO CONVEY
Employees value a great brand just as much, if not more, than consumers. Employees should feel proud and excited to work at their respective companies. In efforts to encourage that excitement and drive employee retention, here are few strategies to consider:
Play up your company culture. Company culture is more than just a poster hanging in the office break room. It’s an energy—a sense of enjoyment that comes from people loving what they’re doing, and a sense of urgency, where everyone is working together intently to achieve a larger goal. By accentuating your company culture, employees will feel a sense of pride and loyalty to the brand. It will inspire them to contribute to the company and align their work, which will lead to greater efficiency and will ultimately affirm their sense of purpose within the organization
Encourage growth. Top talent will not begin, let alone stay, at a company that does not encourage growth. Employees should feel that the sky is the limit within the company and that their growth is not hindered by walls or glass ceilings. It is important to set the stage by creating deliberate opportunities for learning and career growth. Highlight programs that will show employees just how much you care about their professional development, and what lengths you are willing to go to aid them.
If you love something, set it free. Most people are multifaceted and don’t know exactly what they want to do, so letting employees know that they’re not confined to their hired role is key. Encouraging employees to think beyond their current position can help develop leadership skills and drive innovation, two factors that will keep them excited about work.
Encourage an entrepreneurial spirit. Just as companies thrive to be trailblazers, so should its employees. Encourage fast-paced, positive competition that will keep your workforce wanting more. Help them understand that your company desires all employees to have fire and passion for what they do.
So, now that you have an idea of what you want to communicate to encourage employee retention, all you have to do is figure out the best way to go about relaying the message. Employee memos stuffed into mailboxes and blanket e-mails are a thing of the past. People need interesting, interactive outlets to catch their eye and help them retain important information. Here are a few suggested methods, both digital and traditional, for reaching your employees:
â–¶ Start an employee blog. Start a blog that is only visible to company employees. If you already have an employee blog, make sure employees are reading and engaging with it. Share company news, information, ideas, big wins (make sure you emphasize celebrating those wins), best practices, social events, etc. Encourage employees to use the platform to express ideas and opinions. Highlight intra-company competitions and winners.
â–¶ Invest in a “Facebook for Business” program. People love using Facebook to feel connected within their communities. Why not have similar programs in the office for employees to connect and share with one another? Communicating with employees through engaging channels, like social media sites, could help them retain important information and feel connected with each other and the company. A good connection could help employees plant deep, long-lasting roots in the company.
â–¶ YouTube—good for more than a few laughs. Video-sharing sites can be beneficial for employee communications. A good practice would be to slot one executive a week for a short video discussing company plans, offering advice and sharing insight.
Post the video and share with employees via e-mail and additional social outlets. This will allow for employees to connect with company leaders on a mentorship level, rather than just on a leadership level. Also, highlight featured employees on a regular basis, from entry-level employees all the way up the management chain.
â–¶ Find ways to keep it short and sweet. Microblogging programs are great for brevity and quick snippets of information. Send a quick shout-out to an employee for a big win, or send reminders of professional development sessions. Small bits of information are easy to digest and can be an effective communication method when brevity is the best fit for the conversation.
â–¶ Don’t forget the face time. Be sure to make an effort to get some face time with employees every once in a while. Also, make sure employees are connecting with one another outside of social channels. Host a monthly internal meeting or plan a company-sponsored cocktail hour. Whatever form the gathering may take, make sure that it occurs at least on a monthly basis.
IT’S THE CULTURE
A company can only go as far as the workforce that drives it, so it is vital to retain the best people. To preserve leaders, you need to sustain a vibrant core culture and give them ample opportunity to grow. PRN
[This article was adapted from PR News’ Employee Communications Guidebook, Vol. 3; for more information visit prnewsonline.com/store/63.html.]
This article was written by Kimling Lam, director of marketing & communications at Meltwater Group. Previously, she was a TV reporter at an NBC affiliate. She can be reached at email@example.com.