Clear as Mud? How to Keep Communications Simple and Easy

It should not come as a surprise that with smartphones and the millennial generation, it is getting harder to grab and keep employees’ attention. Every day, your employees are bombarded by tons of messages asking them to make decisions about all sorts of things, from doctor’s appointments, bills, and investments to purchasing choices, taking care of their families, and so much more.

All these distractions mean we have to put extra effort into how we communicate to make it easy for employees to know what to do. Don’t bury the action you want them to take. Rather, put it up front where they can’t miss it. They’ll be more likely to see the message and take the action you want them to take.

Simple language and calls to action go a long way. Here are 4 tips that can help you create communications your employees will want to read:

  1. Present Information in Easily Scannable Formats

The best way to quickly catch—and keep—employees’ attention is to structure communication so they can easily scan it for information that’s relevant to them. This will make it much easier for employees to absorb what they need to and take action. Checklists are one way to do this.

  1. Have a Clear Call to Action

Make sure each communication piece has a clear call to action—it’s the “so what?” of your communication. At first glance, employees should understand what they need to do next and how to take action. If it’s not clear, they’re more likely to do nothing.

  1. Connect the Dots

Don’t make employees figure things out on their own. It’s your job to tell a complete story. If you can make connections for them, they’re more likely to engage. Examples: “This plan saves me $X.” or “This plan is better for me because of Y.”

  1. Employ Good Information Design

Present information in a way that makes it easy to understand. It’s not solely about looks; it’s about organization and structure. A great perspective to keep in mind when designing is “don’t make me think.”

Give your employees the information they need, including how to use a specific benefit, you’re making it easier for them to take advantage of the plans and programs you offer. You can promote a benefit all you want, but if you don’t give them the information they need up front (e.g., whom to contact, how to use the benefit), you may lose their interest. Meet your employees where they’re at: busy. The quicker you give them what they need to know, the better the results.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *