TSI Blog

Ground Control To Major Tom

March 6th, 2014 by Alison McKinney

In one of our previous blogs, we talked about the top five trends and themes to open-ended questions in employee surveys.

One of the most common themes that run through is the need for employers to provide improved communication and inter-departmental cohesion.

“I feel that there could be better communication from management to the employees. At present, there is no communication between the team leads and this creates a very bad work environment as each lead has their “own” way of preforming different tasks. This really affects the employees because we do not know the correct way in which certain tasks are to be performed and we suffer the consequence by being brought for disciplinarys/investigations for activities that we do not know are wrong.”

It’s hard to believe, that despite advances in communication technology growing tenfold in recent years, many employees still feel disconnected, disinterested and disengaged at work through lack of timely, accurate and relevant information and being unable to have an input into their organisation or even see where they fit into the grand scales of things.

Effective communication plays a significant part in increasing and maintaining employee engagement. And it’s not just a one way street either.

Two-way Communication

Two-way communication comprises of management and leadership teams actually talking to employees, listening to what is being said and taking action in relation to those responses. Good two-way communication can help to build trust, honesty and openness, in which employees feel valued, and the employer values (and is seen to genuinely value) their employees’ contributions and input. Employees need to know how the organisation they work is performing, how they fit into the bigger picture and need to know how their hard work will impact on the overall result in terms of business.

Personal Responsibility

As well as the organisation ensuring that the methods, channels and type of communication is right for its employees and the messages being sent, there is also a degree of personal responsibility involved. For example, as an individual, we can sit at our desks knowing we need a certain piece of information to carry out a task – we have a choice, we can either:

  1. Wait for our manager, director or the organisation to provide it; or
  2. Take ownership and responsibility and go and find the information required ourselves.

Involving Employees

Involving employees in decisions about any organisational change, whether it’s a small change to a policy or procedure or something as major as an acquisition or merger, can considerably improve and retain effective communication, not just between an employee and their direct line manager, but between colleagues, teams, departments and across the organisation as a whole.

Employee Voice

What you end up with is a happy, informed workforce with increased employee engagement, improved employee retention, higher productivity and positive attitudes towards work. An employee’s voice is one of the four pillars of employee engagement.

Engage For Success: The best organisations give everyone a voice. And listen to that voice. What you say might not change everything; ultimately many organisations have goals or targets so need to make tough decisions about they go about achieving them but having open lines of communication for everyone to use and taking action where appropriate are the hallmarks of an organisation who actively seek to engage all their people.

Want to know more about how high levels of employee engagement can benefit your organisation, then call us on +44 (0) 1255 850051 or fill out our web contact form.

 

Written by Alison McKinney
Alison McKinney is the Project and Quality Assurance Manager at The Survey Initiative, a dedicated employee research organisation devoted to helping its clients gain insight and understanding into what drives employee engagement in their business. Alison has extensive experience in project management and quality assurance and has recently worked on projects for clients as diverse as: WSP Middle East. Natural History Museum, Peverel, Marine Stewardship Council, Accor UK &Ireland and Thompsons Solicitors. Visit http://www.surveyinitiative.co.uk for more information.

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