How to Improve Employee Engagement through Communication
In this insight, change consultant Amy Mallen provides 5 practical tips on how to improve employee engagement through communication.
Employee engagement has been an increasing priority for all organisations over the past few years against the backdrop of hiring challenges, remote working and changing employee expectations. Having an engaged workforce generates a multitude of benefits for your organisation and employees, including higher retention rates, increased productivity and improved employee wellbeing to name just a few.
At Afiniti, we also recognise and see first-hand the importance of employee engagement in delivering and embedding change. In fact, engagement is one of the 6 core Levers that we use to measure the change readiness of an organisation.
With low levels of engagement, you can expect to face higher levels of resistance to change and, consequently, a higher risk of change failure.
So, want to reduce change resistance for your next project? Read on for my tips on how to improve employee engagement through communication.
Tip 1: Listen to your employees
Gaining an understanding of how engaged your workforce currently is will provide you with a baseline and a goal to work towards. This can be done through employee engagement surveys that give you a quantifiable score, or through focus groups and interviews to dive deeper into how employees are feeling. Asking the right questions can allow you to pinpoint key focus areas that will drive maximum value in boosting your engagement.
Perhaps more importantly, you must ensure you are actioning the findings from the survey. It’s crucial for employees to feel like their voices are being heard and their feedback is valued. You should repeat the survey regularly to check you are shifting the needle and that your engagement efforts are being recognised.
Tip 2: Give them the tools to do the job
Not having adequate tools to perform a job can act as a barrier to performance, leading to feelings of frustration and reduced engagement. Ensuring employees are well equipped to perform their role gives them a higher sense of autonomy and mastery, which are known influencers of engagement.
Providing user guides and training materials can be an easy win for organisations to set teams up for success. High-quality materials that are informative and user friendly can remove potential obstacles for employees and give them the knowledge they need to perform. Leveraging creative expertise to build those materials can also help to leave a lasting impression on the user.
Tip 3: Get to know your teams
In large organisations it can be easy to take a unified approach to communications, but this isn’t always the best approach. People react to messaging differently and need varying levels of information. Using a ‘persona approach’, which we support organisations with when working on improving their employee engagement, gives you the opportunity to think about how different roles prefer to be communicated with and what their key challenges are. This enables you to understand their motivations better and tailor messaging to different groups.
The persona approach is a different way of thinking about your audience and helps to keep your employees in mind when creating communications and training. Using this approach can make a huge difference in how messaging is perceived, increasing its power and ultimately making employees feel more connected to the organisation, as they feel their specific needs and wants have been considered.
Tip 4: Be clear and transparent in communications
Employees value transparency from their leaders and the organisation. Taking a transparent approach through clear and regular communications can reduce feelings of uncertainty, improving levels of trust and employee happiness. To ensure consistent and relevant information is reaching teams, it is essential to have a communication strategy in place.
Taking a strategic approach to communications enables you to be more purposeful with messaging and encourages you to consider the audience and messaging objectives. For added benefit, combine the communication strategy with our persona approach in step 3 to create a truly tailored and targeted strategy.
Tip 5: Create a well-connected community
Enhancing how connected employees feel to each other as well as their organisation can improve employee satisfaction, leading to higher engagement and motivation. Having that sense of community in the workplace will reduce isolation and boost innovation and productivity.
A g-Site or a SharePoint page can be the perfect place to begin to build a community, while also acting as an interactive communication channel. By designing organised information hubs that engage employees, you create a space where employees can share knowledge, get to know each other, give feedback and lots more. As a result, employees can feel more connected and develop a greater sense of belonging.
Following all these steps will help boost your engagement levels and put you in a much better position for embracing change. If you’d like to learn more about how to improve employee engagement through communication, reach out to our team and we can support you on your change journey.