Know Your Audience: Communicating with Different Employee Segments


Pop quiz! After months of internal discussions and careful planning, you’re ready to launch your latest workplace wellness initiative, and you need to spread the word to your employees fast. What do you do? Easy. Fire off a few quick emails, break out some table tents, and slap some eye-catching posters on the office walls. Case closed and call it a day, right? Um, not so fast.

While that general approach may work well for some employees, it may completely miss the mark for others, and leave many in the dark about your wellness program. Did you forget about your remote employees? How about the folks in the warehouse? Or what about your Spanish-speaking employees?

When it comes to communication, the method often matters just as much as the message. Here are a few things to keep in mind when reaching out to your team:

Getting Started

Communication is typically a marketing function. And one of the first rules of marketing is to segment your audience. When laying out your communication strategy, it’s important to segment your employee population and make sure that everyone is covered. It’s also a good idea to engage your marketing team and get them involved in the process. Need a few more pointers? Check out this handy checklist to help you get your internal communication efforts on track.

Millennials Versus Boomers  

An influx of young talent combined with the fact that many seasoned employees are delaying retirement means that the age gap is real for many workplaces. And let’s not forget about those Gen Xers too. Each group has their own preferred communication method, which is why it’s important to vary your methods. Millennials may respond better to social media and texts, while Gen Xers prefer emails. And there are always going to be some old-school employees who prefer face-to-face interactions.

Desk Jockeys Versus Non-office Workers

Emails are a quick and easy way to get the word out to large groups of employees at a time. But not everyone spends their day in front of a computer. And some employees may not even have access to a computer during their workday. That’s why it’s important to utilize other means like text messages and physical methods like posters, video screens, and paycheck stuffers to help get the word out.

On-site Versus Remote

Your remote employees who work at home or at a separate facility may be out of sight, but that doesn’t mean you should keep them out of mind. Especially when trying to inform your team about the wellness program. There are a number of ways to keep them engaged in the program; however, your off-site Wellness Champion can be your biggest asset when it comes to communication. You do have an off-site Wellness Champion, right?

Breaking the Language Barrier

The modern work environment includes individuals from many diverse cultural backgrounds. That includes language differences. When English is a second language, it’s important to keep things simple—which is always a good idea even for native speakers. It’s also wise to avoid slang and keep humor to a minimum, as it doesn’t translate easily. And, if possible, include important communication pieces in other languages, if applicable to a large segment of your population.

A diverse workplace is an asset to any organization, helping to establish a creative, interesting, and rewarding company culture and working environment. But that means that taking a one-size-fits-all approach to communication just isn’t going to cut it. Diversifying your communication methods and keeping your various employee segments in mind will help ensure maximum participation and engagement in your wellness program.




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