Guest post: The communications lifecycle of an employee

Thanks to Neil Thompson from employee engagement company, WorkInConfidence, for this guest post.

It is well understood that there is a need for a good channel of communications between an organisation and its employees, but have you considered what might be required both before and after any employment?

At WorkInConfidence we believe that there is a real need to captivate and communicate with individuals all the way through the employment cycle, and not just whilst they are on your payroll, to ensure that they are real advocates for your business.

Take a look at the diagram below which outlines the typical stages an individual will go through with any organisation that they end up working for. The right hand column gives some idea of how the communication might occur at that stage, this is not an exhaustive list.
Comms graphic

The Lifecycle of an Employee

Before their employment
As you can see this positive approach starts long before you have any direct contact and is most likely to be via your website but could, these days, also be through social media.

What persona are you projecting? Does it reflect how you are as an employer? How do you deal with customer support as this could be indicative of how well you value employees? A prospective employee might not directly consider these points but they will assimilate it affecting their view of your company.

Similarly once you have passed this initial hurdle and an individual has decided to apply for a position you again need to be consistent in your communications. Does the job advert again reflect how you truly are as an organisation? If you have a quirky persona is this carried through as it will affect who applies?

While they are employed
To any new joiner you must outline your communications policy and saying that you have an “open door” policy simply isn’t sufficient. Some will be willing to beat a path to your door while others will not have that confidence or their issue is too sensitive to discuss in person.

Ensure that you have a good mix of ways that an individual can communicate with you. Here are seven ideas that you might like to consider.

After they have gone
Finally, have you considered how you communicate with any ex-employee?

I’ve always left on good terms with all the companies I have worked for but it is only the micro businesses that have remained in touch. Interestingly the corporates I worked for I don’t hear from year-on-year unless it is about my pension but they do expect me to be an advocate for them.

Providing that the employee wasn’t sacked then wouldn’t it be great to think that they continued to bat on your side? Perhaps the odd email forming an alumni network would help to cement this? Maybe even giving something beyond the “She did work here, yes” reference too.

Communication is such a vital issue to organisations of all shapes and sizes, but the impression that is formed of you by an individual is shaped long before they sign on the dotted line and walk through the door.

Is your organisation doing all it can all the way through the communications lifecycle of an employee?

Neil Thompson is CTO for SpeakInConfidence and ReferenceInConfidence. He has over 25 years working to deliver innovative and quality software products.

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