The recent employee engagement survey results announced by management consulting firm Gallup indicates that the war against employee disengagement is far from over.
Gallup said that the percentage of US workers in 2015 who were considered engaged in their jobs was pegged at 32%. Most of the employees were not engaged (50.8%) while the other 17.2% were actively disengaged. Gallup adds that the 2015 averages are almost similar to the 2014 numbers. The firm says “there’s little improvement in employee engagement over the past year.”
This reality only underlines the need for companies to lay out an employee engagement plan to increase the engagement levels of their workers. It won’t hurt for HR to work with the corporate communications department in working out a corporate communication strategy designed to engage employees and make them feel more valued by the management.
Effective internal communication is one of the more effective ways to engage employees in the workplace. Companies that are able to communicate strategically with their staff are likely to see their employees working with a common purpose and towards the achievement of organizational goals.
The following are some of the aspects that may be considered in crafting a corporate communication strategy for increasing employee engagement in the workplace:
1. Go back to basics. Many employees today are tech-savvy that they may rather use an instant messaging app than sending an email. But this does not mean companies should ditch the traditional but still effective face-to-face communications in engaging employees.
Most employees would want to hear news and information from their bosses such as company’s goals for the year, or perhaps a change in the company’s retirement policies. Thus managers should be trained how to communicate better with their staff, and be equipped with the tools and knowledge to be able to fulfill their roles well.
2. Use the right employee survey. Most employers often overlook the importance of employee survey in generating employee feedback. But it could prove to be a vital part of any corporate communication strategy for increasing employee engagement.
In conducting an employee survey, it would be better to hire an external agency for the job. Employee poll providers offer confidentiality and valuable benchmark data; things that the HR department may not be able to provide.
Like face-to-face meetings, employee poll is an example of two-way communication in the workplace. Other ways to facilitate two-way communication are town hall meetings, Q&A features on the company’s Intranet, and interactive video questions.
More importantly, input generated from employee polls should be acted upon by the management. If the employer fails to act upon the suggestions given by the employees, then it would be much harder for the company to conduct another employee poll in the future.
3. Tap multiple communication channels. Although face-to-face communications should be part of the corporate communication strategy, it would be wise for management to use other communication channels as well to reach out to more employees.
Mixing communication channels would ensure that all employees will be able to learn what the company intends to convey. The use of traditional corporate communication tools like email and company newsletter may be ‘mixed’ with newer forms of communication channels like the company’s social media accounts or instant messaging platforms. The more communication channels that a company taps, the more likely it is that it would be able to engage its employees.
Employee engagement has become an important concern for most employers. An engaged workforce, after all, has a significant contribution to the achievement of corporate goals. But with HR working closely with the communications department, increasing employee engagement levels should not be an impossible task.