Six ways to make effective communication a reality and not an illusion
The pace of change in the world of business is accelerating – so much so that organisations appear to be in a constant state of flux. Whether it is changing consumer needs, evolving regulations, new technologies, or the impact of geopolitical events such as Brexit, it is likely that your organisation is listening, responding and adapting at a rapid rate.
In such an environment, employees can become confused as to their role and their value, leading to disengagement. To combat this, it is imperative to employ effective employee communication tactics.
In this article, you’ll learn the employee communication tactics that could help to actively engage your employees in their work and your mission.
How employee communication tactics affect organisations and employees
It is a truism that organisations that employ effective employee communication tactics tend to be better at change. Engaged employees generally offer less resistance to change and many studies have shown the importance of communication within organisations. For example:
- ClearCompany found that organisations with effective employee communication tactics were 50% more likely to have a lower employee turnover.
- Salesforce.com found that 96% of executives blamed ineffective employee communication tactics for workplace failures.
- A Herd Wisdom survey concluded that 33% of employees considered that a lack of open and honest communication had the largest negative impact on staff morale.
- As we discussed in our article ‘Survey finds poor communication has ‘big impact’’, the Economist Intelligence Unit found that “44% of respondents believe communication barriers lead to project delays, failures, and cancellation. Low morale was cited as a consequence of communication barriers by 31 percent of respondents, while a quarter said that communication barriers result in missed performance goals”.
Six employee communication tactics to engage your employees
Most organisations believe they communicate well internally. However, as George Bernard Shaw once said:
“The single biggest problem in communication is the illusion that it has taken place.”
These six employee communication tactics should help organisations communicate goals, keep their workforce informed and better engage employees.
1. Discuss your vision and mission with clarity
Ensure that your people are on board with your vision and mission by being clear about it. Ensure that goals are discussed by managers at every opportunity. If your people don’t understand what the organisation’s objectives are, they are unlikely to be able to contribute towards achieving them.
2. Personalise your message
Stop confusing employees with statistics and data to support your case for change. They want to know two things:
- “What’s in it for me?”
- “How does my role impact success?”
Ensure that your employee communication tactics personalise your message. This will give life and meaning to your internal conversations.
3. Use appropriate communication channels
As we highlighted in a previous article, “5 employee engagement initiatives that motivate workers”, different people communicate differently. This is especially the case across different generations. Use appropriate channels to reach out to your employees – be it social media, email, team meetings, one-to-ones, video messages, etc.
4. Communicate constantly
Constant communication is key to driving an open and trusting environment. Organisations that communicate only when at crisis point create distrust and fear, leading to cynicism and disengagement. Those organisations that communicate regularly and often are more likely to be proactive problem solvers.
5. Prioritise collaboration and connections
Seek ways to connect your employees and create bonds that link them together. People who don’t know each other are less likely to communicate well. Encourage greater collaboration and build a culture in which people are encouraged to discuss their roles and responsibilities. With a greater knowledge of what their colleagues do, employees are more likely to know where to seek and share information.
6. Ensure that employee communication tactics create dialogue, not download
Creating an environment for conversations rather than downloading information helps people share their viewpoints, exchange information and give and receive feedback more effectively. Each and every one of your employees receives and interprets information differently and encouraging conversations enables understanding to be explored and clarified.
Following these six employee communication tactics can help turn the aspiration of good communication into a reality.
To learn how our consultancy could help to redefine your employee communication tactics and lead to an improvement in employee engagement, get in touch with BigPicture Learning today.