It’s mid-2022, and some employees are particularly concerned about job security now that the economy could be entering a period of slower growth — maybe even a brief downturn. In fact, there’s been a lot of talk about the ongoing Great Resignation leading into today, but this only provides a partial picture.

Professional services and consulting firm PwC recently published a survey showing that one in five workers expect to switch employers in the next year as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic and post-pandemic job market environment. Taking on a new position can be exciting; yet it’s also normal to feel nervous, uncertain, and uneasy.

The question of how employers can reduce stress for new employees has rarely been discussed, despite the availability of many resources for managing new job anxiety. Increasingly, employee work management software is becoming the prime solution for these challenges. Human resources, human capital, and talent recruiting leaders must find new ways to engage, empower, and support employees in a tight labor market. And it needs to begin on the employee’s first day.

Workforce Management Software: Key to Communication

Communication is one of the most important aspects of bringing new employees on board. The workplace, however, is lacking in effective communication according to both employees and leaders.

Communication-improvement technology firm Grammarly and Harris Poll conducted a recent study. It found that poor communication costs U.S. businesses up to $1.2 trillion a year in terms of employee morale, productivity, and growth. A poor communication system is not only a concern for future employees with remote or hybrid working models, it also increases employee stress.

A successful workplace requires effective communication to engage employees and set them up for success. What can employers do to ease the anxiety of new employees through better communication?

“People departments” have experienced rapid growth over the past two years, which includes fostering a supportive environment from the moment employees join a company. To alleviate anxiety about a new job, any leader can employ methods to nurture effective communication.

This is where smart workforce management efforts fit conveniently into the puzzle. Which employee workforce management software is solving your employee communication and engagement issues? As you venture into the decision-making process — or even make a complete 180-degree turn from your current solution or attempts — consider the following advice built from years of research and anecdotal evidence…

Clearly Define Ground Rules, Assumptions, and Expectations

Increasingly, employees are interacting across a variety of channels, systems, and contexts, hindering their ability to effectively connect and collaborate. The right tone, format, and frequency are all important, even in remote environments without the benefit of in-person communication cues.

Establishing clear guidelines — and building them directly into the onboarding process — will ensure employees can quickly adhere to your culture, whether through setting work/cloud platform time parameters or aligning their tone and style.

Connect with People & Understand Communication Styles

Building strong working relationships requires understanding each employee’s needs and communication style in addition to aligning employees with your company’s communication preferences. When a new employee joins, managers should discuss communication styles with specific questions such as: “How do you prefer to talk about projects, tasks, items of importance, or other topics?” This will help ease new staff into a new working environment.

When asked to describe their communication style or preferences, many people may not know. Utilize feedback from your staff over the first few weeks to inform your own communications approach, such as how well they interact with teammates.

Organize Casual Communication Gatherings

A sense of belonging and confidence are fostered by casual communication. It’s been found that most professionals (57 percent) are in favor of informal, casual workplace communications according to a survey conducted by Grammarly.

As the business landscape becomes increasingly uncertain, this is especially crucial. There is consistent evidence that humor and laughter at work lead to significant mental health benefits. A safe and supportive environment can be created by designing forums specifically for informal, light-hearted chats with new hires, or to ask those so-called “dumb” questions.

Develop a Compassionate Communication Culture

There has been a profound change in employee-employer relationships with hybrid work. Employers now have an obligation to provide employees with more flexibility and engagement, and workers want to be treated as individuals rather than simply professionals. It’s no longer enough to demonstrate empathy in this environment to drive employee engagement and productivity. More is needed.

Establishing and enforcing a culture of empathy will motivate and engage new employees right away, resulting in increased employee retention. The concept of using compassion goes beyond providing flexibility for employees; it involves helping them form better connections and empowering them with the tools and resources to succeed in a more dispersed and diverse workplace.

Employers can empower employees to quickly begin driving impact by keeping these considerations in mind. Managing people in an evolving work environment may not be intuitive for human resources leaders and managers. But to create a welcoming and productive work environment, you must prioritize effective and empathetic communication among all employees.

How Does Employee Work Management Software Fit In?

In human resources, today’s greatest challenges are similar to those of the past few years: improving culture, improving performance, and filling talent gaps. But 2020s-decade technology, the post-pandemic hybrid work environment, and other forces are making their imprint on this years-long trend.

As human resources professionals keep existing employees and new hires connected through diligent communication and work to stay operationally compliant, they need to simultaneously navigate hiring in a difficult jobs market. HR pros who take a step back to refocus are increasingly zeroing-in on new answers to take on these behemoth challenges, such as integrating smart workforce management software solutions.

Reach out to VCS Software to gain a better understanding of how industries and small businesses are coping with unpredictability and communication changes taking place over the past year — all with the right smart workforce management solution in place.

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