Blog - Page 2 of 5 - MConnected Communications

Our Employees Aren’t Taking Action!

By | Metrics | No Comments

Why aren’t our employees taking action? Why do we have to send a million emails about our annual performance review process, when it happens every year? Why does HR always have to be the bad guys?

Sound familiar?

Remember back in the day, or even just five years ago, when HR would say “do this” and our employees would simply comply? Perhaps it used to be easier to have our employees take action because HR was so feared or so misunderstood, that no one wanted to tick us off. Does that feel like forever ago?

As our workforce and those in charge of our workforce, changes, you’ve probably learned the hard way that your employees have changed as well. And the way they are motivated to take deliberate action, has changed dramatically.

While HR may still be feared and people are jumping out of your way when you’re walking down the halls, those same people have stopped listening to you – and what you want them to do.

In 2010 I headed up a project to get 100% completion of signed employee performance reviews – done by paper for all global employees, all 8,000 of them. One hundred percent! And we achieved it – which didn’t seem like a jaw-dropping goal with our communications plan centering around, sending a total of three emails.

Can you even fathom a goal like this today? Hopefully you won’t still be using paper forms, so perhaps part of the process would be easier, but even so – the amount of effort it would take to get all of your employees, worldwide, to signed and “complete” their performance reviews (and then ensure that it was done), seems insurmountable. How many emails would need to be sent? How else can we “yell” at our employees to get them to take action? And so on Read More

Super Bowl LI – An Employee Engagement Problem?

By | Employee Communications | No Comments

Did the Atlanta Falcons lose the Super Bowl because their employee engagement scores were lower than the New England Patriots? Maybe… but likely not. Their HR team will likely look at these metrics at some point to see if they could have done anything differently to help a better outcome or contribute to the winning outcome, respectively.

But both teams didn’t suffer from an “engagement” problem. They had a communications problem at different points throughout the game.

When we survey for engagement just once a year, we’re looking at things like: are our employees present; want to be there; with “us;” satisfied and happy with the work they do and with their boss; and so on. Survey results, by their very nature, are a moment in time – a reflection of what’s happening right at this moment combined with what had led up to that moment.

When we look at the Falcons, they were all communicating and on the same page during the first three quarters (non-football peeps, stay with me for a minute). They were engaged, present, have a common goal, “in the moment,” and were executing to the best of their abilities. They were as HR would say, highly engaged… and therefore positioned for success.

But in an instant, the tides shifted. With one play, momentum shifted the most highly engaged from one team to the other. And just like that, the Patriots shifted into being highly engaged. You could visibly see it on both sides – the energy, the positivity, the will to win, the camaraderie – it’s how football players show their “employee engagement.” Read More

Future of HR: Employee Communications

By | Employee Communications, Future of HR | No Comments

As we continue this series on the Future of HR, let’s review the second critical skill needed by HR professionals, just like you, to be successful going forward. You can review skill #1 (HR Metrics) here.

As a reminder: the future of HR needs three critical skills to continue the journey from “personnel department” to “getting a seat at the table” to ultimately, being an HR profit center and delivering results to the business. Are you ready to heed the call?

Skill 2: Employee Communications

Current State

“Employee communications” is a fairly new concept. So new, that when I launched my first employee communications department in 2004, the VP, Corporate Communications had absolutely no idea what I would be doing. While official employee communications departments or experts may still be emerging, the idea behind this skill set is nothing new.

At the end of the day, employee communications is all about connecting and engaging effectively with your employees and your people. The misconception is that “employee communications” is only focused on how emails get sent out or how we push messages out to our employees – that’s a small part of effective communications. Read More

Are you ready for the future of HR?

By | Future of HR, Metrics | 2 Comments

Now that we know what HR should leave behind in 2016, how do we start building the capabilities of HR for the future and stop the HR hamster wheel of madness?

Human Resources is a department that is rapidly changing – with opportunities and possibilities beyond imagine, when comparing HR of the past with what is possible in HR’s future. As an HR professional, you sit on the precipice of moving HR into the future – with more opportunity, resources, technology, and skills than ever before. Knowing which ones are most critical in the future of HR landscape will help propel your career further and provide you with a deep sense of meaning and accomplishment in your life.

The future of HR needs three critical skills to continue the journey from “personnel department” to “getting a seat at the table” to ultimately, being an HR profit center and delivering results to the business. Are you ready to heed the call?

Read More

The HR Hamster Wheel

By | Future of HR, Metrics | One Comment

As we start 2017, you’re probably starting off exactly where you left off – with maybe a little more rest and a feeling of rejuvenation… until you hit 3pm and realize your break has been long forgotten. HR doesn’t stop, even when we want it to.

But isn’t it so… exhausting to realize you’ve stepped into the exact same “thing” as you did when you started 2016? It’s like a never-ending hamster wheel – it’s January, time for us to start the Performance Review process… so we can then move into Merit Reviews followed by {enter your next HR program}.

It’s plug-and-play HR. And it’s the standard nowadays, really. Most of our HR leaders have hit “their stride” with providing expected and consistent HR programs and updates, that leaders outside of HR are now accustomed to. It only took us 25 years to get here, but now that we’re here, we’ve officially fallen into our next rut.

And you’ve been swallowed up by the same rut, right alongside your HR department.

Delivering the same HR programs, support, messaging, and updates that you’ve done in the past. Maybe incorporating some lessons from last year. Maybe adding a new channel or option for communication. Maybe to a different audience. But as a whole, your HR work has become stagnant.

Your own HR career and skillset has become stagnant right along with your department.

{GASP} Read More

What Should HR Leave Behind in 2016?

By | Employee Communications, Metrics | 2 Comments

One of my brilliant friends and mentors, Pam Slim, asked and then wrote a fantastic post about, “What are we going to leave behind in 2016?” The premise was that when we look at year-end activities and planning, we’re so focused on what we are going to do in the upcoming year, that we forget to leave behind things that didn’t work for us this year. And while it’s a genius reflection for your personal life, it’s also a great question to ask your HR team.

What is (or should) HR leave behind in 2016?

After talking to many of you this past year, the list of what HR should leave behind would be quite long. Ahem, traditional performance reviews would likely be at the top of that list with several “plug-and-play” HR programs and activities.

I wish I could wave a wand and grant you that wish. But for most of us, especially those in larger corporate roles, that’s easier said than done.

BUT, that doesn’t mean that this question of what should be left behind isn’t a critically important question for you to ask yourself and your HR team. Because your HR business is more than just corporate-driven annual activities – and there are definitely things on a day-to-day business, that needs re-evaluating. Read More

You Lost Me at “Memo”

By | Employee Communications | One Comment

I hope you’re not seeing the word “memo” being thrown around as often I have been lately. I thought for sure that word had been outlawed when email came around, but I digress.

A few weeks back, I received an email from a very reputable HR consulting practice telling me all about how I need to learn how to create more effective “HR memos for managers.” Um, what? I haven’t written a “memo” in at least 10 years, likely longer. Why would I need to learn how to do that now?

This is a classic case of not knowing your audience. And I bet you’re doing the same thing to your employees’ time and time again.

In the example above, I dug a little deeper and learned that the person who crafted the free download guide email, was an attorney by trade and a baby boomer. Not that there is anything wrong with either demographic assignation, but it is interesting to examine if those two factors led to an email that completely missed the mark for his target audience: HR professionals who are gen x or millennials.

His perspective created blind spots that didn’t align with his target audience. Which happens to all of us daily – even in our personal lives.

But being that you’re not able to transform yourself into each employee’s demographic fit, how should you go about creating messages that connect and engage them? How do you still craft communications about important HR work, that reach your majority with impact?

The answer to that can be lengthy and technical, but it doesn’t have to be. In fact, there are a few things you can do right now to shift from your “demographic bias” into connecting with your employees. Read More

Annual Enrollment Not Going as Planned? Stop Doing This Immediately

By | Employee Communications, Open Enrollment | No Comments
And once again, you’re likely in the thick of Annual Enrollment – how did that happen? Maybe it’s not going so well this year. Maybe your employees aren’t signing up, renewing or choosing the plans you want them to. Or worse, they are simply ignoring it altogether… leaving you open to hundreds (thousands?) of calls in a week or so, when there’s nothing you can do about it.

Regardless of the reason or the situation, if your Annual Enrollment isn’t performing as you hoped it would, let’s get you back on track immediately.

Do your emails look like this one? (Blurred out to protect the guilty). Read More

Uncover the HR Metrics You’re Ignoring

By | Metrics | 5 Comments

The majority of HR professionals are in positions of leadership, but not necessarily power or decision-making. Sound familiar? Many of the BIG decisions or conversations, tend to happen behind closed doors among senior HR leaders.

And likely, you’re not a part of those conversations or they haven’t asked you for your input.

So what can you actually do to move the HR organization forward? To drive the future of HR at your company, from a mid-level or heck, entry-level role?

The answer may surprise you: LOTS. In fact, you may be more effective at driving change from within the organization that from the top-down. We all know how “effective” communication cascades are.

While you may not be able to invest in the piece of HR metrics software that you’re salivating over through #HRTech tweets, you can start using and uncovering HR metrics that you’re currently ignoring.

Questions, Questions, Questions

One of the easiest ways for you to identify opportunities is through listening – and it can also uncover important HR metrics. How many times do you send out an email explaining the entire detailed process about how to complete performance management (or merit processing or updating an address…) and you still get a flurry of questions. Read More

How to Start Listening to Your Employees

By | Employee Communications | 3 Comments

We’ve all come across the situation before – your favorite store just changed the way they do something, missing the most obvious perk, leaving you questioning why they would make that change. My response is usually, “I don’t know, they didn’t ask me….” And of course I’d provide the “obvious” solution or missing piece, thinking it would have been so much easier if they would have asked a loyal customer like me.

And I’ve heard it across every single HR department and employee population – more times than I care to count.

Why did they change the performance management process? Did they know that this change adds an extra three hours to my small group? Isn’t there any easier way to do this? They just took a fairly reasonable process and “upgraded” it into something unmanageable.

Sound familiar?

Then we’re left to scramble to defend the change, provide a talk track to leaders about how to position it, create a program rollout to teach people about it, and so on.

We’ve alienated our best resources – our people and their insight.

Read More