Recent research by European Leaders found that 68% of employees questioned said that they did not understand their company’s vision (http://www.personneltoday.com/articles/2011/06/08/57695/managers-poor-communication-blamed-for-low-staff-motivation.html). Which raises the question of why not?
Do employers understand the importance of having a united workforce all moving towards a shared goal? How can they do this if they don’t fully understand what this goal is? Poor communication can be one of the greatest downfalls for businesses, and any negligence in this area often lies with management. Only 18% of respondents from the same survey viewed the company they worked for as a good organisation, indicating a link between understanding the organisation’s goals and an employee’s view of the company.
So why is it so important to communicate effectively to your employees?It has already been noted communicating goals and visions can improve an employee’s view of the company. Communication also improves employee morale, individuals feel valued simply by having the information shared with them. It demonstrates that you trust your staff. It helps them do their job, and really, what further incentive than that do you need?!
So now comes the question of how best to communicate… Firstly, forget the whole ‘need to know’ rule – this will only make employees feel like you don’t trust them. Do your research, find out what they want to know. They may not need to know about all of the latest company developments and statistics, but by letting them in key information you are making them feel included and important. They want to know how the company is doing and how they can help the organisation reach its goals. And don’t assume your message has been understood – so much information can be changed or lost as it travels through the lines of communication. Get feedback to make sure your message is clear. Finally, always end management meetings with a plan of how you are going to communicate the outcome of the meeting to your employees – and you’ll be rewarded with an engaged and motivated workforce.