One of the challenges that today’s employers are facing is low employee engagement – according to this Gallup study, only 13% of the workforce is engaged. But as you know from my earlier posts: happy employees are more engaged, satisfied and productive comparing to their counterparts. So employers must know what are the things that help to create workplace happiness in their organizations. Therefore the topics like communication and collaboration are becoming more and more important in workplaces. It has been found that workplace communication has different advantages starting from higher workers productivity, higher job satisfaction and lower absenteeism and turnover rates.
But there are other benefits as well. According to this Gallup study, communication is often the basis of any healthy relationship, including the one between employees and their manager. Gallup has found that consistent communication — whether it occurs in person, over the phone or electronically — is connected to higher engagement. For example, employees whose managers hold regular meetings with them are almost three times as likely to be engaged as employees whose managers do not hold regular meetings with them. Gallup also found that engagement is highest among employees who have some form (face to face, phone or digital) of daily communication with their managers. Managers who use a combination of face-to-face, phone, and electronic communication are the most successful in engaging employees.
Considering all that I would conclude that employers should have more focus on workplace communication. But it is not as easy as it might seem in the first place. In here organizations are facing different communication-related challenges: there are people who are complaining about the lack of information in the workplace. But at the same time, there are people who complain that there are too much information and too many communication channels and they just don’t have time to use all of them.
Though majority of organizations still hold different face-to-face meetings we can definitely see more communication going on thru e-mails, phone, newsletters, intranet, huge amount of corporate social media platforms, Skype, and etc. And this is where it becomes more challenging to employers: we know that 55% of communication is body language, 38% is the tone of voice, and 7% is the actual words spoken. But with the absence of body language and tone of voice miscommunication and misunderstanding are becoming much easier. This can lead to hurt feelings and might create, instead of happiness, workplace unhappiness.
So you see, there are so many challenges related to the workplace communication. What should an employer consider when deciding how many and what kind of communication channels should they use?
One size doesn’t fit all! Organizations are different and this that is a perfect match for one organization might not suit you at all. For instance, this that is suitable for the corporate bank and its offices might not suit the production company.
Size of the organization matters! Smaller start-ups probably do not need so many different channels as bigger organizations do. But then again, it doesn’t mean that the bigger the organization the more channels it should use. It definitely depends on organization’s field of activity.
Corporate culture plays important role in here. No matter how and what kind of information we are delivering you must make sure that it is aligned with your principles and values. But we also need to bear in our mind our organization customs, how we do and how we are used to doing things, what is the work culture in the organization.
Technology is becoming more and more important! There are a lot of different communication and collaboration platforms that your people could use but in case you want to make these channels official communication platforms you need to offer different devices (and training as well, if needed). It is definitely a challenge to find channels that suit all you people from different generations.
We must consider different generations in the workplace. There are 5 different generations in the workplace where a majority of Traditionalists don’t want to know anything about social media channels and Gen Z doesn’t know what the paper newspaper is because they have never seen one and all the information that they get is from their smart devices.
We must also consider workplace flexibility, meaning flexible work hours, remote work, working in remote locations, etc. It means that in this case, we must be ready for flexible channels and platforms as well.
What is your experience with communication? Leave your comment and share your story!
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