Developing an effective communications strategy

Communication graphic

It is anticipated that your communications team will support and work with you in developing and implementing a total reward communications strategy and plan.

A successful communications strategy will bring your reward strategy to life and increase staff engagement by:

  • helping staff fully understand and appreciate the value of their total reward offer
  • demonstrating the organisation’s commitment to and investment in its staff
  • maximising the impact of the reward strategy to successfully achieve the strategic goals
  • reinforcing the organisation’s strategy, values and unique employer brand.

By focussing on some key points you will be able to provide your communications team with the basis for the communications strategy. An example of a simple one page reward communications strategy is illustrated here. This example shows a strategic approach to communicating a total reward strategy which is aligned to the goals and principles of the reward strategy.

Key points to consider when developing a communications strategy

Objective - what do you want to achieve? What are the reward strategy goals?

Audiences - who do you need to communicate with?

Timescales - identify the launch date or dates and work backwards to ensure there is sufficient time. Build in contingency time, better to be ready early than launch late. 

Key messages - what do you need to tell your audiences? The message may be different for different groups such as for line managers.

Comms messages - what are the benefits to your audience of being engaged with this? What's in it for them?

Comms channels - what are the existing communications channels for each your audiences? For example, intranet, posters, email, payslip newsletters. Do you want to try something new? What about podcasts, webinars, desk drops or postcards. A mix of channels will reach a broader audience.

Products / deliverables - what will be the most effective ways of communicating with your audience, given the communications channels you have? What is the most appropriate format for your audience to receive and understand the messages?

Queries and feedback – how will staff ask raise questions or provide feedback? Is there a helpline number or an email address? Will there be a different process during the ‘go-live’ period to business as usual?

Having agreed a clear communications strategy, you can develop a communications plan that details who you want to communicate with, what you want to communicate and how you are going to do it. This example illustrates how each element of the plan clearly links the strategic goal to the communication products.

Why Register?

Great reasons to register with NHS Employers

  • A personalised website
    Manage your profile and select topics of interest to you
  • Access your dashboard
    Bookmark useful content to help you quickly find what you're looking for
  • Get involved
    Contribute to our Talking Points discussions, comment on and rate our webpages
  • Keep up to date
    Receive the latest newsletters and media summaries

Log In