What every organization wants to have are committed and engaged employees. With so many changes in the economy and highly demanding clients, employee engagement is often pushed into the background. Nevertheless, the relationship between internal communication and employee engagement is close and significant. In most cases, when employees leave the company, it is because of poor communication, lack of information or negative employee experience. Therefore, if you are looking to engage your employees more, you should start with improving your internal communication.
Connect Employees and Management
Throughout the workday, your employees surely have some questions to ask. Who are the people responsible for answering and helping them? In most cases, those are team leaders and managers. They are the ones who provide necessary information to employees and CEOs. Although their doors are open, managers aren’t always at their employees’ disposal. Most of them are so focused on other tasks that they simply don’t have time to address their concerns. This is the first problem you should resolve. Managers should be approachable. If their work doesn’t tie them to an office, you can always provide them with employee engagement software. This way, employees can text them whenever they need help or want to voice their doubts. Similarly, managers don’t have to wait for meetings to check project progress. They can spare a few minutes every day and catch up with their team members. Maintaining regular contact with your employees boosts their morale, keeps them timely informed and engaged.
Assign Communication Roles
It takes at least two to communicate. Effective communication demands other aspects such as meaning, purpose, consistency and transparency. Companies, especially larger ones, are ideal places for spreading rumors and creating confusion. Since this can damage your business and reputation, you should assign clear communication roles to prevent any misunderstandings. For example, managers are the link between other supervisors and CEOs and employees. They have to collect information and instructions from the top and disseminate them to the bottom. Moreover, it is their job to collect feedback and ideas from employees and pass them to supervisors. This process should be as transparent and open as possible. Through this interaction, managers at the same time coach employees and learn about their skills, individual and group strengths. This allows them to create and offer more suitable opportunities for growth. Effective communication on all organizational levels strengthens relationships among colleagues and builds a culture of openness and support.
It is easy to take all the praise when things are going well. However, as a leader, you have to be prepared to take full responsibility when the business isn’t doing so well too. There is no use in blaming others. It only creates a hostile work environment full of distrust and dissatisfaction. Be sincere and genuine when communicating with your employees. Accept all mistakes and learn from them. Make sure to correct them and not repeat them. Employees will recognize your efforts and sincerity and reward them with their hard work.
Avoid Information Overload
Employees deal with so many pieces of information coming from numerous channels every day. From emails, texts, calls, meetings, customer service, video conferences, and face to face communication. No wonder they neglect or miss the most important bits. Additionally, rarely anyone practices active listening. Most of us jump to conclusions too quickly, judge, and make assumptions. This isn’t what effective communication is all about. Start with information and knowledge sharing. To enhance this aspect, you can avoid information overload. Share only purposeful and meaningful data that can really inform your employees and help them do their jobs better. Encourage them to share what they know with others and prevent departmental silos. Also, stimulate them to become active listeners and concise and direct speakers. This will save everyone in the company some precious time. They will no longer have to offer explanations and clear up misunderstandings. Communication will become more effective which will positively affect employee engagement and productivity.
Things in life rarely go as planned. The same goes for the business world. Internal communication strategies don’t work out the way we wanted them to. Turnovers, restructuring, and downsizing happen. They are an inevitable part of every business and industry. It isn’t easy to deal with such huge and unexpected changes at once. However, it is possible to overcome every single one of these challenges. Being prepared to take matters into your own hands and weather the storm is a characteristic of true leaders. When employees see you aren’t backing down from a fight, it motivates them and encourages them to go the extra mile for the company. Include them in the problem-solving process and encourage them to work together and come up with ideas and possible solutions. The key to navigating through a crisis is to keep the communication clear and direct. Be positive but if you have to, communicate bad news too.
Share Goals with Employees
The best way to increase engagement in the office is to share goals with employees. When you keep them to yourself, employees can’t do their job right nor help you achieve them. For this reason, poor communication only helps their engagement decline further. However, you can quickly turn things around. Whatever goals you and your company have, it is crucial to publish and share them with everyone within the organization. When goals are transparent, attainable, and visible, employees have no problems in doing their part and reaching them. Sharing aims with employees and making them a part of something bigger shows how valuable they are to the organization. In such a situation, they are motivated enough to push their boundaries and grow along with the company.
Lena Hemsworth is a Lifestyle Blogger based in Sydney, Australia.