Why Communication is the Best Solution for Increasing Employee Engagement

May 20, 2019Blog, Employee Retention

Through communication, we share important information, gain trust, and influence others.

It is no surprise that the power of communication can positively impact your business in numerous ways, especially when it comes to employee engagement. Today, most businesses are eager to improve their employee engagement. Some even go all out. What they might not realize is that less is often more. Read on to learn more.

What is employee engagement

Employee engagement seems to be more important than ever, but what does it really mean? Employee engagement is frequently confused with employee happiness or satisfaction. While engagement can lead to those things, it is an entirely different concept. According to Forbes, employee engagement “is the emotional commitment the employee has to the organization and its goals.” Engaged employees are passionate about their work and want to contribute to the organization’s goals.

Why is it important?

It’s great to have employees that are passionate about the work they do, but why does it matter to your business? If you aren’t already convinced that employee engagement is imperative to business success, think again. A recent Gallup poll estimates that disengaged employees cost the U.S. $483 billion to $605 billion each year in lost productivity! Aside from the catastrophic impact of disengagement, there are many advantages to employee engagement like:

  • Reduced absenteeism and turnover
  • Higher quality of work
  • Better employee health
  • Higher customer satisfaction
  • Increased sales and profit
  • Employees that go above and behind without being asked

Communication is Key

Now that you better understand the importance of employee engagement, you may be anxious to improve your own workplace and watch profits follow. But hold on! Employees are human beings with their own motivations and thoughts. In order to encourage employee commitment to company goals, you must understand them and they must understand the business goals. This is why communication is absolutely essential for improving employee engagement.

Communication Methods for Better Employee Engagement

“Communicate” is a broad term, and you can try many different strategies to improve engagement. Words alone will not impact your engagement; meaningful communication and exchange of ideas will.

Engagement assessment

Step one is to assess current levels of engagement. Short surveys, one-on-one meetings, and stay/exit interviews are some great methods for doing this. Be sure to ask questions that relate indirectly engagement, rather than directly asking about how engaged an employee thinks they are.

Use short surveys frequently to keep tabs on engagement. For example, ask employees how much they agree with statements like “ I know what is expected from me at work” and “At work, my opinions seem to count”.

Communicate company purpose

Have you ever been given an assignment in school and thought, “I will never use this in ‘real life’”? It is frustrating and demotivating to feel like you are doing something with no greater purpose or contribution. Communicate the purpose and goals of the organization and how the employees’ individual tasks fit into that purpose. Employees will find more value in their work when they understand how it is connected with the goals of the entire organization.

As Jim Harter Ph.D., a chief scientist at Gallup Research, explains: when employees “clearly know their role, have what they need to fulfill their role, and can see the connection between their role and the overall organizational purpose.”

Leadership Trust

An engagement-heavy culture relies on leaders who show their own engagement and commitment to employee development. Trust stems from building a relationship, which is done through genuine communication. Leaders should communicate any changes for the company or team goals, the status of goals, performance feedback, and encouragement.

Growth Opportunity

Employees are eager to learn and motivated by new tasks and improve. Unfortunately, the opportunity for continued growth is not always there. According to Southern New Hampshire University, “many organizations already encourage employees to set performance or development goals during their annual review process, but too few actually provide the resources and support to achieve them.”

Communicate with employees about their opportunities for growth and check in with their progress.

Tips for Effective Communication

  • Deliver a clear, consistent message with appropriate information. Not every bit of information is appropriate to share with each employee, and that is okay.
  • Open and genuine communication. Open communication helps build trust and helps employees feel comfortable to bring up concerns or ideas.
  • Connection. Connect with the employees by making time for individual conversations and by occasionally inquiring about their life outside the office.
  • Clarity, transparency, measurement, and accountability.

If you want to know more about company communication and increase engagement, contact Infinity Staffing now!