One of the biggest problem areas for creating excellent employee engagement is communication. Gary Cattermole, co- director of The Survey Initiative, a leading employee research provider specialising in employee engagement, gives us the lowdown on how to create effective communication strategies.
- A good manager will ensure their team is kept up-to-date with the latest happenings in their organisation. Make sure your door is always open to staff and take the time to hear their concerns and talk to them about their workplace worries. It’s much better to heed off the rumour mill at the first opportunity – it will save you much time and effort in the long run.
- Invest in a good intranet and newsletter to ensure employees can access information when they need it. Make sure it is kept up-to-date and is an enjoyable and easily accessible read.
- Remember some people like to know everything that’s going on in an organisation, some people aren’t so interested. Ensure your communication channels are open and employees can find out the information they require as and when.
- Don’t think that just because you’ve got an intranet and newsletter that’s all you need to do when it comes to communication. The majority of employees will seek information from their team leader, so ensure all staff are sharing company updates from the top down.
- Celebrate your successes! Share your organisation’s news, award wins and developments with your staff. Success breed success: and by taking employees on your organisation’s journey they are much more likely to stay loyal and go the extra mile. Make sure your staff feel part of your company and valued as an employee.
- When there’s a major announcement to make timing is key: release information to all at the same time to quash rumours and negative messaging. If you’ve got a large workforce to communicate with, video messaging is an ideal tool to engage direct, but make sure middle managers are available to answer any post launch queries.
- Ensure you embrace modern technology and communicate with your employees – especially millennials – with today’s communication channels, such as social media, blogs, SMS messaging, video content etc.
- If you’re a global enterprise ensure your communications are translated into appropriate languages and that the copy reflects local cultures.
- Creating engaging communications - never be boring! A picture can tell a thousand words, so ensure you’re creative at getting your message across, otherwise staff will not engage with your communication material – and you’ll hear the inevitable ‘no-one ever tells me anything!’.
- Be personal, get to know your staff, remember their names, keep them informed, have an open door policy, and always say ‘good morning’ and ‘thank you’ – these very rules will really help you engender respect and they will take you a very long way!
For more information about employee engagement and employee research, visit www.surveyinitiative.co.uk.
Gary is a partner at The Survey Initiative and has managed numerous employee research projects for a variety of organisations. Gary’s initial grounding was in the areas of sales and marketing, in the mid nineties he joined Longman Software Publishing to head up the business development of SURVEYkits (the worlds first employee opinion survey toolkit). After spearheading its growth over an 18 month period, Gary joined EMPLOYeSURVEYS, the original developers of SURVEYkits, helping to establish EMPLOYeSURVEYS as a leading provider of employee surveys. Following its successful growth, in 2006 employesurvey was bought by a leading consultancy group. Gary enjoys sports, in particular table tennis and football.