Don’t let poor communication hurt your organization

Internal communication is the lifeblood of a company. It ensures everyone is connected and headed in the same direction, driving toward the same goals. When it’s effective, communication can also improve employee engagement, directly impacting retention. 

Don't let poor communication_In Article

Employee feedback gathered by Energage show communication is hurting.

Employees want to feel in the loop, and that has suffered during the pandemic. Nationwide, 70.3% of employees tell Energage they feel well-informed about important decisions at their company. That compares with 71.3% who felt well-informed a year ago.

And communication goes both ways. These days, employees are feeling leaders are not as clued-in about what is going on. Nationwide, 69.7% of employees felt senior managers understand what is really happening at their company, compared with 71% a year ago.

When employees feel included in important decisions, they will feel like a true partner in the business. They will feel more connected, too. Because when employees understand the “why,” they are more likely to align with your organization, even if they don’t fully understand or totally agree with how you are going about things.

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 do not 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 will 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 employee survey firm. Energage is The Washington Post’s partner for Top Workplaces.

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