Find out what changes can strengthen your communication policy.
Are your employees expressing a fair amount of frustration? Is office gossip suddenly overruling official policy announcements? If so, you may need to reconsider your current employee communication efforts. Regular employee communication can boost engagement, according to Gallup research, which found workers with managers who hold frequent meetings are three times as likely to be engaged as employees whose managers don’t.
We know disengagement can be expensive; it costs the U.K., for example, between £52 billion and £70 billion a year, according to Gallup. It’s also a widespread problem: Gallup’s State of the Global Workplace report found just 13 percent of global employees are engaged in their work.
Don’t risk losing worker trust and interest — or revenue — due to any of the following employee communication policy mistakes:
- Relying too heavily on email. In today’s tech world, it’s tempting to fire off message after message and call it a communication policy. However, there are other, often more effective ways to share news with employees. Entrepreneur suggests town hall meetings. Videoconferencing can also work, if your offices are spread out. Gallup has found that managers who use a combination of phone, electronic and face-to-face contact with employees most successfully engage workers.
- Communicating too infrequently. Often, organizations don’t promote a large amount of good or bad news. Sharing your organization’s successes -- and failures –- can help engage employees, calm workers’ fears and prevent rumors from spreading.
- Not prioritizing your messaging. Conversely, sending out too many all-company email blasts can overload employees with information and cause them to start tuning out company correspondence — setting them up to potentially miss key employee communication announcements in the future. You may want to condense news into a regular publication, such as an e-newsletter, or create an editorial calendar as part of your overall communication policy to ensure you share email announcements on a regular, yet not excessive basis.
- Failing to create an open atmosphere. Consider the 2013 employee engagement survey from Edelman. Executives ranked communicating frequently and honestly as the seventh most important trust attribute; employees, surprisingly, ranked it eighth. One potential reason: Employee communication coming from the top down — even if it’s frequent, thorough and honest — isn’t a complete solution.
To build lasting loyalty, a communication policy needs to give employees a chance to participate, too. Offer formal and informal opportunities for workers to share their opinion to show them it’s valued.
A carefully crafted employee communication policy can help your organization keep workers happy — and encourage them to stay, instead of looking elsewhere for employment.
If you’re struggling with other employee communication-related issues — or just need to update your corporate communications policy — find out a few other key issues you should address, including how to keep remote office locations in the loop and when, to truly provide an effective work-life balance, you should never contact employees outside of work.