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Today's communication with your employees means we're always on


Today's communication with your employees means we're always on

Anne Jaakke (b+w)

- Anne Jaakke is an award-winning CHRO (Chief HR Officer) in both the Netherlands and Germany and a passionate ChangeMaker.

Anne Jaakke (b+w)

Anne Jaakke is an award-winning CHRO (Chief HR Officer) in both the Netherlands and Germany and a passionate ChangeMaker.

A challenge to all HR professionals

No trend watcher in the 1990s would have thought we will still have applicants waiting months for a job application response in 2022. We can do this differently!

I am still amazed about how little impact digital-transformation has had in many HR functions and candidate / employee journeys: manual application processes that are far too slow and frankly, do not contribute in any way to a qualitative selection and/or the creation of a unique employee experience. Many workflows are still based on administrative process from the 1990s and an HR era without technology, and responsibility for results or business efficiency.

The change in customer communication and engagement has been revolutionary - who could then have imagined our current world of 'always on' and digital first? What if your washing machine stops working at 11 o’clock in the evening, you order a new one via your mobile, and the appliance will be delivered and connected in your home the next morning. Nobody right? Conversely, which trend watcher in 90s would have suspected job candidates would still apply for a job, in 2022 in the same way as then - that you still have to send a cover letter with your ‘motivation', and then wait an average of 4-6 weeks to get back a formal form letter stating that you do or do not match some traditional profile. Nobody right?

How is your HR digital maturity?

Take some time to reflect on the following two questions. Score on a scale of 0-10:

  • How well does your company utilise digital channels to communicate and engage with potential employees?

  • As an HR executive, do you feel ultimately responsible for communication with your potential employees?

What do I actually mean by today’s HR communication?

Be available 24/7, fast and good

Is your HR / Recruitment team only available from Monday to Friday from 08.30 – 17.30? Most companies are now available 24/7 for their customers, but what about the internal services? Why isn’t it available 24/7? If you decide to be more accessible, the next question is, in what way? Only via email? You may be using a general telephone info line and forward it. Or do you already use a chatbot for the most frequently asked questions? Do you have live chat functionality or can employees, simply call or message the HR department?

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Be visible online and active on social media

If your employees post online about your company or their work, do you respond in a cool way? Do you keep an eye on sentiment online and do you make quick and smart adjustments? Are you active on the same platforms where your people are located? Does your HR team shine online?

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Personalise employee communication

What is your tone of voice? Are you still very formal? Are you businesslike and distant or do you use the language you speak with your friends? Do you still only use formatted letters and templates? Or can it also be more personal? Have you a personable tone of voice when your leaders message your teams.

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Use video

Often and with short messages, especially from management, less (text) is more. No complicated manuals and try to avoid emails. Keep it simple. Be sincere. Video can be particularly effective of course.

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Communicate proactively

When was the last time someone from your HR team sent a spontaneous message to an employee to ask how things are going? Just simple: “Hi, I was wondering how you are? Kind regards, Noor from HR ”. Or to a manager “Hi, how are you? I was wondering if I can help you with anything. Kind regards, Noor from HR ”.

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Sources of inspiration for HR

As an HR professional in 2022, we should not accept that our HR teams still think and work as if it were the late 1990s! Customer relations and e-commerce will serve as sources of inspiration for HR in 2022. Why not apply the same principles?

Today there are so many great ways to create a fast and unique candidate and employee journey, and to be able to communicate well with your employees. You don’t have to be a millennial for that - It’s a matter of making HR digital-first thinking a priority and taking lots of action!

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Learn more about Anne Jaakke.

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