Best Practices

HR Communications

5 tips for improving readership
Employees do care about benefits and other HR issues, but that doesn’t mean they’ll read every word of your HR communications. Especially if their inboxes are flooded with wordy HR emails that may or may not be relevant to them.

Whether you’re communicating annual enrollment options, wellness programs, performance reviews or any other HR topic, you’ll be more effective with materials that make it easy for employees to glean what they need to know. Also, remember employees are busy, and they’re more likely to pay attention to communications that are well designed and engaging, rather than giant blocks of dense copy with no or few visuals.

Here are five simple tips you might consider:

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Speak human to human

Try to avoid writing in a style that feels like corporate speak talking down to employees. Instead, imagine you’re telling a friend or colleague about this particular benefit or topic, and keep it conversational. You might even throw in a little humor occasionally. If your brand’s usual tone of voice is friendly and casual, your HR communications should be too.

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List their action items

If there are calls to action that employees need to know about, do them the favor of listing them in a box or handy list somewhere that’s easy to see. Don’t bury those To Dos at the end of a long block of copy. Make it easy to refer to the actions they need to take and be sure to let them know where to do that, with links or important contact info.

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Provide shorthand for legalese

Of course you need to include all that cumbersome legal language like eligibility for coverage, qualifying events and proof of insurability. But you can also add subheads, callouts or introductory sentences that help employees understand what those terms mean, in language regular people can understand without straining their brain.

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Give the copy room to breathe

Especially when your HR communications are provided in a digital format, there’s no need to scrimp on space. Employees will not be eager to wade through 500 words crammed on a page. Try breaking the copy into smaller paragraphs, guiding the reader with subheads, inserting callouts or boxed sidebars, using a reasonably sized font — and adding visuals.

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Good design helps

Remember that employees are also consumers, accustomed to messaging from brands that invest a ton in beautifully designed advertising and communications. You’re not competing with other company communications; you’re competing for attention with TV, print and digital ads, online shopping sites, news organizations and Instagram. Good design matters.

How can we help?

Tribe does internal communications – and that’s all we do. We’re a full-service shop, from audits and strategy to creative and production.

Steve Baskin
President and Chief Strategy Officer
Office: (404) 256-5858
Mobile: (404) 663-7910
[email protected]