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Keeping The Lights On When Times Are Tough

Communicating with employees when you have a limited budget

You spent time and money to recruit and train employees. They know your business and perform critical activities that keep your business running. Why would you stop communicating with employees in a meaningful way when you need them to be as productive as possible? When times are tough, one of the areas leaders tend to cut is employee communications. However, this is precisely when companies need to communicate the most.

If you owned a garden center, would you stop watering the plants or tending to them to save money? Employees, like those plants, are an investment that needs attention and care to stay at their best and help you turn a profit.

Do you need a better reason to engage with employees? Well, studies show that engaged employees directly correlate to a company’s profitability. In fact, a 2017 Gallup study found that highly engaged teams show 21% greater profitability.

You see, engaged teams are willing to go the “extra mile,” take prudent risks, and offer up new ideas and solutions. The type of engagement that leads to that profitability, starts with a communications strategy that connects leaders with their teams, aligns teams to strategies and business goals, and fosters a cultural identity that promotes positive behaviors.

I have worked with leaders that say, “I don’t have anything new to communicate, so I’m going to cancel the all-hands meeting.” Are you sure employees know that nothing has changed? How will they know if you don’t tell them?

What some leaders fail to realize is that not communicating still communicates something. And, it may not be what they intend to communicate. To some employees, that lack of communication can mean you do not care enough to communicate them. Others grow to believe that you value shareholders more than you value employees, or that you have something to hide.

Whatever the case, that lack of communication can lead to uncertainty and fear. When employees fear for their jobs, they go into self-preservation mode. They will try to minimize attention. They will do what is expected, but not much else. They are definitely not thinking about how they can take your product, service, or business to the next level.

  • To hire or not to hire a communications advisor—Budget constraints are a reality for many businesses; however, there is a way to hire top talent without breaking the bank. Over the last decade, more and more businesses have opted to outsource support functions such as IT and HR. Now you can also outsource communications. There are several advantages to outsourcing your communications support.
  • Instead of investing in a full-time employee, which costs time and money (ramp up, salary, healthcare, benefits, etc.), at FutureAlign, for example, our clients benefit from expert consultants who can deliver a project, be embedded in a team, serve as an advisor, or be a long-term communications lead. Our solutions are scalable based on your needs and budgets.
  • Outsourcing gives you access to very experienced communications professionals who have worked with leaders of Fortune 100 companies to develop customized communications solutions to help leaders authentically engage with their teams and foster teamwork.
  • You’re not just hiring one person and their specific skills and capabilities. Our clients have access to experts in employee and organization change communications, marketing, messaging, executive communications, visual communications, media relations, external communications, and video production. We utilize those resources and expertise as needed to help our clients meet their objectives.

Do not let budget constraints get in the way of tending to one of your most valuable assets, your employees. You cannot afford to keep them in the dark.

Romelia Hinojosa

Romelia Hinojosa

Romelia Hinojosa, 20 years of experience developing and implementing global internal, external and change communications at Fortune 100 companies, including ConocoPhillips, Phillips 66 and BHP Billiton. Bachelor of Journalism, concentration in Public Relations, Prosci® Certified.

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