How to build communications that combine consistent culture and localised messaging
Whether your work environment is hybrid, onsite, remote, or in different countries, it’s more important than ever that every employee has easy access to information and messaging that is relevant to them based on their location. Benefits and rewards provide a bedrock to many people beyond salary today. Therefore, it’s crucial to build a sustainable and adaptable communications strategy that reaches all employees with relevant and timely information. This will not only give your employees an insight into how you are continuing to invest in them but will also help grow a sense of loyalty and engagement within the company.
Create a cross-organizational communications plan that transcends borders
With a distributed global workforce, employers are facing a growing challenge of engaging the entire workforce — whether they are remote or hybrid, desk-based or working across various sites, locations and offices.
It’s more than just about preparing content and distributing it. Global employers are facing the challenge of showing that they understand the local cultural norms in receiving and digesting information, furthermore to have an insight into what information is valuable to their employees in different markets and its relevance to all without abandoning the company brand and tone of voice.
Successful communication builds a sense of purpose aligned with the organizations structure and values. However, to succeed, you need to spend time understanding the nuances, what is valued and how information is digested in each local market so you can distribute tailored communication to all relevant needs and wants of your employees.
For instance, promoting a better work-life balance or healthy living makes it essential to understand what this looks like in each market, as it will differ from country to country.
Take paid parental leave as an example; one of the most coveted benefits in the United States. In Europe, it’s commonplace to offer it to both parents following the birth of a child for varying lengths, except in Scandinavia where it’s common law. Or look at how a health and well-being benefit would be best suited to colleagues in the Netherlands, as it has the most bicycles per capita in the world, and a subsidized bike benefit would be more suitable (and taken up) compared to a gym membership.
A communication strategy is not a one-size-fits-all approach, but utilizing data, insights and two-way communication with global employees will help you adapt communications to be effective and grow your culture of trust and engagement.
The power of two-way communication
Building a communication strategy is about engaging in a two-way conversation with your employees so that they are not only up to date on the latest company news and updates but also have opportunities for your employees to share their opinions, voices and thoughts. A town hall or social gathering can provide opportunities for employees to share viewpoints and ask questions about topics on their minds. The next stage is to use these insights and tailor content for employees that meet their ongoing needs.
Topics & audience
Always start with defining the topic and the audience. Sharing specific matters, information, and messages to the targeted audience at the right time will allow a better impact, contrasting to what can be perceived as general information to all employees.
To clarify with an example, information about pensions and retirement plans will be more relevant for employees nearing retirement, whereas the Total Reward Statement and overall compensation package will interest entry-level employees.
Asking the right questions
Using surveys or feedback tools is a great way to measure the effectiveness of your communications approach. It will allow you to gain valuable insight into how employees perceive the content and how it resonates with them. If not, what other content or communications would they like to see? Using it regularly will give you valuable feedback that ensures your distributed global workforce feels engaged and seen by you as an employer.
Celebrate the differences that make your global workforce unique
Global workforces with employees from different cultures, languages, traditions, and public holidays should be acknowledged and recognized within the organization. Holidays such as Eid, Chinese New Year or Mid-Summer should be endorsed and celebrated to ensure employees, who follow these holidays, feel valued as the entire company is informed about their relevance.
Using the right tools
Time to look at communication tools to reach all employees. According to Statista, there will be over 6.8 billion smartphones in use in 2023, an estimated increase to almost 7.7 billion in 2027.
Quite interesting! Approximately 61% of the world population use their smartphone to read e-mails, book meetings and browse today. That doesn’t necessarily mean all information and messaging must be 100% adapted exclusively with mobile use in mind. However, this is applicable intelligence to keep in mind when preparing messages, updates, or information to share with colleagues. Hint — keep it easy to digest via mobile.
Let modern HR technology take the admin out of it.
Using a Total Rewards and Benefits platform enables a unified global-but-local approach from the same platform employees uses to access their rewards and benefits. This means, through using a communications tool, you can send a welcome email, promoting different benefits on offer or send push notifications to each user, straight to their mobile device. This means clear, effective, and consistent communication anywhere, anytime to continue to engage your global workforce.