HRMS Team Communications: Part One
Stakeholder engagement is key to HRMS success and good communications within your HRMS team lie at the heart of that engagement. You can buy the best system, install it faultlessly on the server (or cloud), have the simplest and most user-friendly interface, populate it with pristine data but if nobody uses that system then it is an utter failure. And people use new systems because they understand them and they have bought into the benefits that the systems can offer.
So, the HRMS team must communicate, communicate, communicate. This first part of our look at communications focuses on the options that can be deployed; the methods rather than the content.
Your Communications Strategy
Everyone has a preferred method of communicating – email, face-to-face, WhatsApp, letters – and the danger is that each HRMS team member will stick to their favorite out of habit and comfort. But a strong, project-wide comms strategy uses a variety of methods to inform, engage, educate, involve and consult. The appropriateness of each will be determined by the interests, preferences, hierarchical level and existing engagement index of the targeted stakeholder group.
Mapping out what will need to be communicated, to whom and when is a standard project management approach. The resulting communications plan (and there are many, many templates available on the web if you need one) has the added benefit of providing the HRMS team with a clear structure within which to operate.
Methods and Options
Different comms methods vary greatly in formality, preparation required, and logistical impact; their suitability will depend on the audience and the message; i.e. don’t call a conference just to update the project FAQs but equally don’t launch the project with a text message.
Comms methods at your disposal include: Small group facilitated workshops, brainstorming sessions, focus groups, process mapping groups, one-to-one meetings and interviews, project web portal, internal surveys, ´branded´ items to boost awareness (project mugs, calendars, etc.), scheduled update meetings, video conferencing, team briefings, documents and hard copy guides, employee conferences, newsletters, email updates, social media (e.g. in-house collaborative tools such as forums, informal user subgroups or private Facebook pages and so on).
In fact, the options at your disposal for putting the project message out there are only limited by your imagination. The above list includes most of the more tried and trusted methods but it’s fair to say that (within reason) the more innovative your method, the more memorable and effective it will be. Part Two of this brief look at HRMS team comms will consider the content of your communications.
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