Are You Communicating With Your VIPs? (Very Important Personnel)

Photo illustration by Dreamstime.

While reading TLNT the other day, I came across the following on Editor John Hollon’s blog:

A new survey by WorldatWork has found that only a small percentage of U.S. employers – 11 percent – are still giving out annual cost of living (COLA) pay increases to employees.”

Doing a little more research, I also found the following sobering statistic: In a recent Citibank small business survey, 44 percent of companies planned to increase employee productivity or make do with fewer employees in order to ride out a double-dip recession.

3 ways to keep employees in the know

With businesses trying to do more with less, HR managers should be asking themselves how to keep morale from hitting an all-time low. While companies often are willing to spend thousands of dollars to hone and perfect a message to their investors, editors, and consumer audience, their internal messaging often gets forgotten. Here are some ideas to keep your most important customers – employees — in the know:

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  • Emphasize what’s good about working for the company. Do you provide a health care or 401(k) match? Maybe you offer services like perks for public commuting or riding bikes to work? Remind employees that while the free sodas may have gone the way of the economy, some benefits are still alive and kicking. It’s important to communicate the good with the bad.
  • Share wins with the entire company. Did your company recently receive an award for product innovation or good customer service? Share it with the entire organization. Did a salesperson score a big client win? The entire team needs to know. By being more tied into the wins and advancements the company is making, employees will feel connected and will be comforted by the forward strides in the marketplace.
  • Meet opposition head-on. Grumbling is going to happen. The economy is in the worst shape it’s been since the Great Depression. Instead of ignoring it or worse trying to squelch it, encourage employees to openly discuss their fears and complaints with company leaders. While you may not be able to do much about cutting back benefits and perks now, you can certainly give employees a forum for their concerns. Often just being heard can turn a surly employee around. Ensure you save comments for further review when the economy turns around.

While simple, the above ideas could be the thread that helps connect your company and its valued employees. As the nation begins to shake off the Great Recession, it will be more important than ever to for companies to keep internal messaging strong and the lines of communication open.

In a matter of a few short months, employees will have more options than they do today – keep them feeling like a part of the team.

Laurie Halter is the owner of Charisma! Communications a PR firm specializing in HR technology and automotive technology fields. You can reach her at or follow her on Twitter at!/charismacom.