Good communication with employees can be the key between the success or the failure of a business. Unfortunately, employees do not feel like there is a lot of open communication.
Only 36% of employees in the United States are engaged in their work with their current companies. Meanwhile, at least 15% of employees are actively disengaged.
So, if you are an owner or manager of a company, what can you do about this? Well, the answer is to come up with an effective employee communication strategy.
As a manager or an owner, you may find it to be a daunting task to have a strategy that fits every type of employee. You may be asking yourself, how can I do this while setting business goals?
What are the best ways to improve employee communication in the workplace? How will those ways improve the company overall? How will that help you achieve business goals?
Here are six ways to improve employee communication.
One of the first things that you can do as a manager or employer is to encourage employees to provide feedback to you. This can be anything from recent policies that were implemented to the general work culture that your company has.
Openly encouraging this while keeping anonymity can do a lot of good things for you. You can gain insight into what problems employees may have been too afraid to speak up about before. If you notice a pattern with an issue coming up, you now have the information necessary to acknowledge this problem and address it.
Another thing that this can do is let employees know that their voices are being heard when it comes to company decisions. An example can be if employees all complained about a problem such as the lack of proper heating in the office building. Then, after the employees gave this feedback, the company went on to fix the heating in the office.
This lets employees know that they can go to upper management about issues and provide open feedback. Then, they can have more trust in management to address these problems and come up with a solution for them.
Encouraging employee feedback can be a great stepping stone in general open communication and it is one of the best communication tools. Receiving feedback that is honest can also help improve your business.
“Our staff has praised the increased communications level Workmates delivers. We use it to communicate important project matters and give staff specific ‘kudos’ or even recognize their birthdays. More importantly, we use Workmates to clarify important project details that needed rapid dissemination among the entire team.”
Another thing that you can do as an employer is to start to recognize employees openly that do great work for your company. Employees are only human, so they want to know that they are appreciated for the good work done for your business.
This can be a game-changer for a business considering that a large percentage of employees really value recognition. About 37% of employees in this survey said that employee recognition was the most important thing for their quality of work.
If you think about it, this makes a lot of sense because it lets an employee work so that people see the good work that they are doing and value it. This not only can improve an employee's morale, but make them more likely to stick around.
In that same survey above, it was found that teams scoring in the top 20 for employee engagement experienced 59% fewer turnovers.
That means that employees feeling recognized generally makes them want to stay a part of the team that they are currently on. This can be a major key to building employee chemistry and coming up with a workflow where everyone is on the same page.
An example can be giving out a bonus to the person who has the most sales on a sales team in a month. This can be a big employee reward that has a positive impact on workplace cultures. It can also help peer to peer recognition with people giving others respect for excellent work shown.
Sometimes, just making people feel appreciated is all it takes for someone to be more open about their communication with you. So, you should put in an employee recognition program to boost morale.
Next, you need to make sure that you properly conduct market research for your business. This can be in any field from marketing to finances to management and more.
Having the proper research on anything can increase an understanding between people. That means that they are more likely to have a clear idea of what needs to be done and the target market that they are doing it for.
To do this research effectively, leaders also need to guide managers and their subordinate employees in the right direction. Make it as clear as possible what you are looking for.
An example could be if another company is interested in merging with yours. Doing the proper research on that company can give you an idea of what they are all about, what they do, how they can help you, and if they are good for you.
This research could save you from a contract that leads to your company getting swallowed. Or, you could find out that company's reputation for how they treat employees and previous business owners and decide that is not the way that you want to go.
Research offers clear insight on certain topics and it can help you increase employee morale while providing a clear understanding of the objective.
It can also help you with market segmentation and focus your product or service on a specific niche in your market. There are plenty of different types of market research that can satisfy your goals here.
Along with the steps above, you have to have an idea of what your target audience for your product or service is going to be. This gives employees a better idea of who they are targeting in potential sales and a better idea of who they need to appeal to.
What gender are you going after? What is your target age group? Do you think some races and nationalities will respond to your business better than others?
These are things that you need to ask yourself as an owner or manager. Then, once you determine that answer, make it clear to employees what their target audience is going to be.
Once you have your target audience down, it makes it much easier to target marketing towards them. There is more general marketing research out there already on what men and women like, what certain age groups like, and even what certain races and nationalities may like compared to others.
Do not be afraid to use focus groups to get a better idea on how you can have customized services. Figure out what target audience with the data collected from those focus groups that best suits your business goals and attack from there.
If you are going to improve your communication methods, you are going to need to figure out what is wrong with your current communication methods. This means taking a deep dive into your business operation methods and figuring out how things currently get done.
Then, you may notice small things that do not get picked up easily by a data sheet. For example, you may notice that your office sends most of its business memos by email.
While it is not a terrible way to communicate, you may realize that there is a better and faster way to do so.
What if you had an option where people can read a message at the click of a button compared to going into an email account? This research study revealed that over 90% of people read a text message in the first three minutes.
Consider using communication platforms that have notification methods similar to texting. If nine out of ten people are reading your important messages in the first three minutes, that means that people are understanding what needs to be done faster and they can address concerns faster.
Finally, as an employee or manager, you need to constantly be setting goals to keep your employees motivated. This also helps keep the business flowing and constantly evolving.
To do this successfully, you need to clearly lay out what goals you wish to accomplish for your employees. Then, you need to delegate certain tasks to employees and give them a hard deadline to finish those tasks.
For example, you can say that you want to increase revenue by 10% by the end of the next quarter. To do this, you may want to do a marketing campaign to boost brand awareness.
This requires clear communication to employees on what tasks they have to do and how that will help the company achieve this goal. So, it can be some employees on graphic design, some employees on a press release, some employees on social media interaction, and more.
Then, the goal is to finish these tasks by the original deadline that you set. Doing so not only helps the company meet its expectations but also gives employees a morale boost for finishing a challenging task.
These are just six tips that you can use to improve your employee communication strategy.
Do not be afraid of setting goals and reviewing your current methods to discover some flaws in your company. Also, give employees a voice by providing an open door for feedback and rewarding them when they accomplish a big task.
Do you want to make employee communication even easier?
Request a free demo to see how our HR Cloud can help your business communication grow into the future.
About the Author:
This article is written by a marketing team member at HR Cloud. HR Cloud is a leading provider of proven HR solutions, including recruiting, onboarding, employee communications & engagement, and rewards & recognition. Our user-friendly software increases employee productivity, delivers time and cost savings, and minimizes compliance risk