As mentioned in last week’s blog, one of the top drivers of employee engagement is regular, two-way communication with management. In fact, employees express this need so often, we rank it as the number one universal driver of engagement.
Communication Is Hard
So why does communication perpetually pop up as a top employee need? In our experience, this is because communication within an organization is difficult. It takes time. It takes effort. Especially in our ever-increasing information-overload environment, making relevant communication available to employees is a challenge. Doing it by email often gets inadvertently sent to the trash bin. Doing it in print can get lost in the junk mail. We recommend dedicating a company communication page – one that is easily accessible on mobile devices. This way, employees will always know where to access company information and can view it whenever they want.
Communication Is a Two-Way Street
Employees are not just consumers of information, but to be fully engaged, they want to have a voice in their organization. In other words, employees want ample opportunities to be heard. Face-to-face communication is always optimal, albeit not always possible, especially when management has so many demands on their time as it is. But with today’s technology, on-line employee discussion boards, pulse surveys, and social media engagement make two-way communication possible.
Drive-by Communication Does Not Always Equal Understanding
A mentor once told me to create understanding with large groups of people, you need to communicate seven times, seven ways. In other words, people understand information differently and sometimes need repetition to fully understand something top management has been working on and absorbing for months. So oftentimes sending out an email or saying something once is not enough. Communicating something in multiple ways is a better approach for creating understanding.
The world is moving fast and change is a constant. Keeping employees abreast of current events is a challenge. There are off-the-shelf communication tools that can be customized to help you more effectively communication with your employees. We work with clients to help them create a central employee communication portal – a platform that is mobile-friendly, hosts company news, employee discussion boards, pulse survey opportunities, written and video messages from the CEO, an industry news feed, push notification opportunities and many other options to be customized to any organization (http://transcendengagement.com/communication-tools/). If you need assistance improving engagement with employees, consider a holistic strategy that starts with a robust communication effort.