6 Tips To Ensure Employees Feel Well Informed
Managers often communicate less in troubled times — when they should be communicating more. And sometimes, people under-communicate because they’re not sure what they can share. Usually, more transparency is better.
Communication is so often the root of problems within organizations. Poor communication is a quick route to an “us vs. them” mentality, while clear communication helps create a “we” feeling.
When employees feel included in important decisions, they’ll feel like a true partner in the business. They’ll feel more connected, too. Because when employees understand the “why,” they’re more likely to align with your organization, even if they don’t fully understand or totally agree with how you’re going about things.
Research suggests that at average organizations, only 49% – fewer than half – of employees feel well informed about important decisions at their organization. But at Top Workplaces, well-informed employees are the norm, with the number of employees who say they are well-informed jumping above 80%.
Here are six tips to ensure employees are feeling well informed:
- Overcommunicate! Because different people have different communication styles, share information in as many ways as possible, and don’t forget to share the “why.”
- Check for understanding on both sides. “What I heard was …” “What can I clarify?”
- Quick documentation can do wonders for communication. Get it in writing!
- True communication is always a conversation. Employees should have an avenue to provide feedback and get their concerns addressed.
- Set aside time to decide how to communicate as well as what you communicate. A well-considered message can make a huge difference.
- Make a habit of formalizing what you plan on sharing after leadership meetings.
How do you know if your employees feel well informed about important decisions? Ask them! Next, set a plan to communicate important decisions effectively throughout the organization, from the top to the front line. Be sure to include all stakeholders in important decisions. There will be a lot more buy-in to decisions that people felt involved in making.
Done right, you’ll notice employees are more receptive to change, more likely to participate, and more willing to give their best each day.
Bob Helbig is media partnerships director at Energage, a Philadelphia-based research and consulting firm that surveyed more than 2 million employees at more than 7,000 organizations in 2019. Energage is The Washington Post’s research partner for Top Workplaces.