Do you communicate well?
Employee communication is paramount to an engaged workforce. An engaged workforce is paramount for a committed and successful workforce. Communication is the way to achieve this as communication determines how people think, feel or act, therefore leaders need to consider how they want staff to think feel and act, before communicating.
A 2011 CIPD employee outlook survey discovered that less than half of respondents felt either “fully” or “fairly well” informed about what was going on in their organisations. Think this doesn’t apply to you and that you do communicate well? Read on and find out.
Listen – The true art of communication is to listen. This means being proactive to find out what people think and not assuming that you already know. People who listen first are more likely to be listened to when they do eventually speak.
Say in one word, not five – People are busier than ever. Fact. They simply do not have time to labour at length over organisational matters. Therefore say what you want to say in one word and not five. Stick to ‘headlines’ and ‘newsworthy’ information and grab their attention.
Say it, and say it again – Information retention is difficult in this fast paced world, therefore make it easy for people to remember what you want to communicate by saying what you want to say, and then saying it again and again until the message is heard.
Face-to-face – Employees value face-to-face communication, more than any other type of communication. Therefore to be heard loud and clear, say what you want to say directly.
Two-way communication – CIPD has identified the three main drivers of employee engagement: opportunity to feed views upwards; feeling well informed about organisational changes; and believing your manager is committed to the organisation. Therefore two-way communication is essential.
You said, we did – Two way communication is only effective if you act on employee requests. In fact the more you act on feedback, the more feedback people will be willing to give you. Therefore act on feedback and tell people that you have done so.
Measure your results – How do you know if you are communicating well? How do you know if new measures are working to improve communication? It is crucial to measure results to determine this, therefore employee engagement surveys, focus groups and measuring hits to your intranet and internet are all crucial methods to measure communication success.