It is nothing new to say that communication is critical the success of any organisation, whether the largest or the smallest. To seasoned employee engagement specialists none of what you are (hopefully) about to read is new, but its well worth repeating the fundamentals.
Organisations that embrace employee engagement more likely to be highly successful both financially and culturally. Employees will leave an organisation with high engagement and for the rest of their career continually seek to recreate that experience. Unfortunately, organisation who truly embrace engagement, and successfully execute, are normally the exception, but they find that openness, communication and active engagement become a core part of who they are and why their customers continue to use them.
The world of communications has fundamentally changed in the last decade and because of that so has our world of work. In this modern workplace everything is done electronically; in many cases employees can begin to feel that they are losing touch with their management and vice versa. Employee engagement is a vital success factor within any modern organisation.
A lack of interaction between employees and management can make employees feel their voice is not being heard, which can in turn affect the productivity of individual, teams and divisions. Research has identified that there are two main driving factors in employee engagement, these are:
– Feeling informed about happenings in the company/organisation
– The opportunity of upward feedback
When the two above are present within an organisation this can help create a more positive attitude towards work. Upward feedback can be basic items such as surveys or suggestions on operational matters within an organisation, to more complicated types which can be face to face upward feedback. This can be further reinforced by meetings with managers who are open to feedback from the employees. That said it is often the case that employees work remotely or are not located in the same geography as their line manager. This means that new ways of working and interacting need to be embraced.
An organisation that has a poor communication between employees and managers can create a an environment of active disengagement and result less happy, less productive people. It’s easy to talk about having effective communication within the workforce, but this needs to be normal culture within the organisation for employee engagement to be optimised. A sense of trust and honesty are some of the best starting factors to increase the role of communication between employees and management.
Some important aspects of positive employee engagement will include employees feeling that their views and opinions are listened to and valued. Values such as leadership will help with employee engagement by providing a sense of direction and understanding of objectives. Most organisations will have stated values and codes of practise, and a company that practises good employee engagement will have staff that behave consistently with the stated values.
The role of ‘employee engagement’ or ‘work engagement’ is generally one that can be broken down into a few sub groups such as personal, social and affective engagement.
Personal engagement could be that the employee focuses hard on their work, are enthused by the organisation and its mission and understand the role they play in successfully executing that strategy.
Affective engagement is the way the employee feels about their role so they will feel positive and enthusiastic about the end result of their work and input. Essentially are they proud of the end result.
Social engagement relates to the co-workers the employee has. An example of social engagement could be that the employee shares the same work goals as their co-workers.
Here are some good examples to help with employee engagement and to help increase a sense of communication within the organisation.
Increasing employee involvement: only 27% of employees feel they are involved in the vital decision making in their business/organisation. Creating a sense of shared vision and feedback through extensive communication can help employees become more engaged with their work.
Coaching and leadership: helping employees achieve and manage their work goals will help them become more effective as they develop their skills. One to one coaching is greatly beneficial.
Ensure that your leaders are highly visible and are consistently and effectively telling your organisations story to date and the shape of things to come.