Why Employee Engagement Thrives on Direct Line Communication
If you open the lines of communication between leaders and employees, you have taken an immediate and effective step toward improving employee engagement. And improved employee engagement is directly correlated with improved profitability, earnings per share, customer satisfaction, and employee retention.
Employee engagement training talks about building trust in your employees trust not just between a manager and team but also trust in the company’s success. Our recent employee engagement research showed that over 9 out of 10 employees in highly engaged organizations trust that their company will succeed going forward. So it absolutely matters.
How do you maintain this trust in the company’s future success when there are often signs of concern like a dip in the stock market or recent publicity that questions the viability of the company’s mainstay product or new strategic direction. The answer is that you need to maintain open, honest and clear communication by consistently sharing four proven communication ingredients whenever things change:
- The Purpose: What are you trying to accomplish (and why) at the organizational, team and individual levels?
- The Picture: What does the end state look like and feel like?
- The Plan: How specifically are we going to get from where we are to where we want to be?
- The Part: What specific role do you want each person to play in the plan and how will we measure and reward contribution and progress along the way?
Be straightforward when there is bad news. Do not try to cover up or sugar coat the situation. The direct approach is the best so employees do not feel left out, so they don’t rely on misinformation and so they feel free to question and learn more about how the news will affect them.
One easy way to keep employees informed is a monthly email with updates on success metrics, wins or exciting news of the month and potential hurdles ahead. Focus on how challenges are going to be faced and how you expect to succeed. Being open and honest and confident in the future will help employees appreciate your leadership and the trust you show in them. You will know you are communicating effectively to improve employee engagement when people perceive that:
- Communication is very good among members of their work group and throughout the organization as a whole.
- Company leadership has communicated a motivating vision of the future.
- They are well informed about what’s going on in the company.
- They have enough information and resources to do their job well.
- The company listens to and takes employee ideas seriously.
- Feedback given to management is well received and consistently followed up on.