6 Communication Tools to Help Improve Employee Engagement
It stands to reason that happy employees equals happy customers, but what is it that will delight a workforce so that this positivity rubs off on your consumers? A good salary, bonuses and an excellent benefits package maybe the first things that spring to mind, but financial compensation is only part of the equation and is usually only satisfactory for a short period of time. What employees really require, to be truly engaged, is a feeling that they are positively contributing to an organisation that they believe in and want to continue being a part of.
The fundamentals to employee engagement is to have a clear mission statement and core values which are carried out and reinforced across an organisation on a daily basis. Staff must have the tools and authority to demonstrate these core values to the customer and they must be adhered to from the very top and throughout a business. Most importantly, any successes directly resulting from their implementation must be celebrated. But how do you ensure that core values are being regularly reinforced and acknowledged? Her are 6 communication channels which may help with the process.
In most businesses employees spend a great deal of time in front of a computer screen so desktops and laptops are ideal mediums to communicate with staff and build employee engagement. An intranet is like an internal internet which has comprehensive news and information regarding a business across all departments. Ideally, to maximise engagement the intranet landing page should automatically launch during log-in and the landing page should be flexible enough so that it can be tailored so that each employer receive the news that is most relevant to their needs. It is also important that the information on the intranet is updated regularly. If the intranet is static or out-of-date information is present then engagement will wain very quickly.
As well as communicating directly to staff it is important to give them a platform to ask questions, air their views and generate discussion. This will not only demonstrate that the business values their opinions, but it will also provide a source for new ideas and an insight into the experiences of the people directly at the coal face. You may want to build your own forum specifically for your business, but existing software such as Yammer and Basecamp also exists.
The computer desktop its’ self is also an under-utilised tool, but it is usually the first thing that most employee’s see every single working day. If you have control over the desk top display as part of your network then regularly changing this with positive messages than promote the company’s core values can be extremely effective.
As well as regular communication it is important that management interact with staff and give them opportunities to express their opinions to them directly. This is not only important at a line management level, it is also crucial that senior executives such as CEOs, Managing Directors, CFOs etc…present to staff regularly and field Q & As rather than being perceived as distant and unapproachable. The size of a business will determine how regularly management can address employees, but however regularly they occur they should be open forums and remote workers should also be invited in to participate so that they continue to feel part of the business.
A regular newsletter is the perfect vehicle the reinforce core values and celebrate success through positive news stories e.g. a sales person landing a particularly large order or a marketing executive passing their CIM exams. It also provides an opportunity to get to know colleagues better by publishing interviews or reporting achievements that may not be directly associated with work. Newsletters are often circulated by email, but these can easily be ignored and skipped over. To really maximise the positive benefits of a newsletter the investment in printing and circulating a hard copy is the better solution.
An away day, whether it is a strategy day or a team building event, is a great opportunity to allow staff to mingle with their fellow colleagues outside the confines of the workplace. It also provides businesses with a chance to pause and reflect about its current operations, its successes and its future strategy. However, away days can be expensive, but this investment will demonstrate to employees that their work and opinions are valued which will have a positive effect on engagement.
Be warned the enthusiasm for such an event may vary at first, but if the event is run properly it should be a positive and worthwhile experience and you will gain interest in making it an annual fixture. Our blog regarding the benefits of away days can be found here.
Having notice boards around the building is the perfect way to keep employees’ updated and informed. However, they must be displayed in key areas which employee’s interact with them on a daily basis such as the staff canteen and locker rooms. Also, the messages must be updated regularly and engaging otherwise the notice boards will eventually just fade into the background.
Giving employees access to social media platforms at work is often considered as another potential distraction from their daily work load, but if it managed correctly they can actually be a powerful tool in promoting your company and establishing its company culture. By allowing staff to post, comment and share positive messages relating to your business and communicate with customers directly through social media can be extremely beneficial. For example, a staff member sharing a vacancy first hand with their Facebook friends is a much stronger endorsement than anything you could write, as they wouldn’t do so if the company was terrible to work for.
Is that everything?
The above list is by no means exhaustive, but it outlines some of the popular communication channels used to improve employee engagement. Unfortunately, providing regular communications and giving staff the opportunity to voice their opinions simply isn’t enough. The final step to truly engage is to demonstrate to staff that you and listening to them and that their contributions are valued.
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