6 tips for better job seeker communication
There's no doubt job seeker outcomes are influenced by the communications we have with them.
Whether it's the automated bulk communications to improve efficiency, or the one-to-one conversations case managers have with their caseloads day-to-day, communication can either play a role in facilitating meaningful progress towards work - or unintentionally stop it in its tracks.
Here are 6 tips from Esher House for improving these communications.
1. Use autonomous language
No one likes to be told what to do. In fact, the desire to be in control of our situation is one of the four foundational behavioural drivers of human beings in general. For the other three, read this!
We can mitigate this with autonomous language. Engage with ‘could’, ‘may’, ‘if you like’, instead of driving away with ‘must’, ‘should’ and ‘have to’. Giving them agency makes all the difference.
2. Align with your job seekers
Job seekers, like all of us, want to feel like the person or business they are dealing with is on their side, ‘gets’ them and their situation, and is ready to work with them to move forward.
Aligning with your job seekers helps. Warm and friendly statements like ‘I’m here if you need me’ or ‘when I was unemployed’ fosters a feeling of being cared about and being part of the ‘in group’.
3. Facilitate social relatedness
Belonging to a group that is in a similar situation enhances engagement. When job seekers are connected and share with their peers, often, this social relatedness can support their progress.
Esher House’s resilience workshops have been great places for this. Even better, they are in the process of going fully digital, so connecting groups of participants online could support progress in future. This could even make it less awkward!
4. Beware of cognitive overload
When human beings feel incompetent or overwhelmed they simply disengage. They switch off. This is especially true in times of stress, when they have less capacity to deal with more information.
The best way to combat this is to keep communications simple. Stick to the core aspects of the communication, be clear and direct in things like word choice, and reduce the cognitive burden.
5. Intrinsic value
Try and communicate the value of participation in tasks from the job seeker’s perspective. This allows a participant to immediately picture and experience what it will be like to go through with action.
You might say, ‘I think you will find this fun’, ‘you’ll learn about yourself’, or ‘you’ll improve your wellbeing, relationships and confidence’, or ‘you’ll gain more control over your life’.
6. Praise and reward
All human beings love praise and will come back for more. On the flipside, an absence of recognition for positive actions may cause a job seeker to feel unappreciated, and lead to disengagement.
Use every opportunity to say things like ‘well done’, ‘that’s impressive’ and ‘nice work’ to job seekers. Rewards such as digital badges or completion acknowledgement have great impact.
Interested in finding out how Esher House can improve jobseeker support with behavioural science? Learn more here.