Five Reasons You Should Invest in Employee Communications
We’ve all been there. You’re waiting on important information from your company that never comes. You wouldn’t recognize your leadership team if they walked right past you. You haven’t met with your manager in weeks. Without a proper flow of information, deliverables and deadlines are slipping through the cracks and your employees are suffering the consequences. The shift to remote work has only exacerbated these issues. Without a physical office, crucial moments of spontaneous collaboration and human interaction have gone by the wayside. This is especially true as companies scrambled to cut costs in reaction to the financial impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. Communications—specifically, internal communications—were often the first to go. But in a time of crisis, sharing information with your team is critical to navigating change and ensuring your employees feel supported, making internal communications a must-have strategic commitment.
Here are five key reasons your company should invest in internal communications now.
1. An engaged team performs better.
Communication is the foundation for an engaged workforce and meaningful connections with your employees can drive your bottom line. For example, businesses in the top quartile of employee engagement realize 10% higher customer metrics, 17% higher productivity, 20% higher sales and 21% higher profitability than businesses in the bottom quartile, according to Gallup.
This is partly because communication helps clarify an organization’s mission and how each employee can use their skills to move toward that goal. Verbal communications are just as important, particularly in terms of performance management.
2. Your employees are your most valuable asset, and they want to hear from you.
Employees are the engine that keeps your organization going. When properly engaged with internal communication, they can serve as your strongest brand champions. Research shows that 82% of employees said they would be more likely to be an advocate for their organization if their company communicated with them more effectively. Despite the clear benefits, companies aren’t prioritizing employee communication and engagement: 78% of employees said it should be a higher priority for their current employer.
During times of significant change, transparent and consistent communication with leadership is essential. While it’s challenging to adapt your communications strategy for a virtual workforce, now is the time to reassess and adjust to ensure you’re meeting the needs of your teams.
3. Communication is the thread that weaves the employee experience® together.
Your employees need a steady voice to guide them, specifically during this era of disruption. In addition to affecting employee engagement, communications can have a significant impact on your team’s wellbeing.
Dynamic Signal’s Annual State of Employee Communication and Engagement Study found that 80% of the U.S. workforce reports feeling stressed because of ineffective company communication, and 70% feel overwhelmed because of broken communication methods and fragmented information.
It’s important to foster community while in a virtual environment. Your communications strategy should include operational information, benefits, employee resources, leadership communications, diversity, equity and inclusion (DE&I) messaging and more. Every element contributes to the employee experience®.
4. When executed well, employee communications provide you with actionable insights about your teams.
Smart internal communications leverage built-in measurement tools, which can provide valuable insights to guide your organization. Whenever possible, companies should use technology to track metrics like email opens, click-through rates and other key engagement metrics. This is also the most efficient way to solicit feedback about your company’s communications. Conduct quick pulse surveys or virtual town halls to get insights not only about your communications, but the employee experience as a whole.
If your workforce isn’t remote, consider how your mid-level managers are approaching verbal communication with their direct reports. Ensure there are regular opportunities for employees to ask questions and provide feedback. Relying on a communications cascade can be difficult, but qualitative insights from your team can be just as valuable.
5. Internal communications are critical to retention and career advancement.
Finding talented employees is a lengthy process, but retaining them is another challenge entirely. When employees don’t feel supported, recognized and valued, they’re less likely to stay with a company long-term. In fact, 53% of employees said they would stay at their jobs longer if their employers showed them more appreciation, and 63% say that they are ready to quit their jobs as a result of poor employee communication.
Again, performance management and communications go hand-in-hand. The way your organization onboards, shares goals, provides opportunities to participate in special projects and invests in helping employees learn is all part of the equation. Communication can connect mentors with mentees and encourage inter-departmental collaboration.
Overall, communicating with your employees is just as important as communicating with your customers—the benefits are immeasurable. The way you tell your company’s story internally affects how your employees work, feel and grow. The best way to support your team and your business is to implement a research-driven, holistic employee communications strategy.