You can’t beat a good conversation – everything you do to improve something starts with a conversation. But I don’t think we have enough of them.
I’m a strong advocate of the Engage for Success movement and the four themes they identified in the Engage for Success Report as enablers of engagement.
1. Strategic narrative
2. Engaging managers
3. Employee voice
4. Organisational integrity
I don’t believe these are offered in any particular order but if I had a choice I’d say the most important factor in creating an engaging workplace is communication (employee voice). Communication can make and break a working relationship. And the reality is you can’t really do anything about the other enablers without it!
According to a survey by law firm Nabarro poor communication with employees, colleagues, customers and suppliers leads to disputes costing the UK economy £33 billion a year.
In employee surveys (lack of) communication is consistently one of the top complaints employees have about their employers.
I run breakfast events (www.gettingleadershiptowork.co.uk) with local employers in the Thames Valley to help spread the word and share practical ideas about Employee Engagement. Communication and Employee Voice is the topic that causes most concern and generates most discussion.
Effective communication can be a boon to your business. Towers Perrin Communication Study 2010 reported firms that communicate effectively with employees are also the best financial performers delivering 47 percent higher total returns to shareholders.
Yet less than a third of employers train their managers to communicate.
Are you having enough conversations? Is communication boosting or breaking your business?
To hear more on how to build employee voice in your organisation; for advice on creating a workplace that attracts and retains employees (with valuable IT/Technology skills) or to talk to us about employee engagement, customer engagement or ‘The 3Ease Standard’ and bespoke surveys email firstname.lastname@example.org. Alternatively follow us on @peopleessential or sign up to receive our blog/occasional newsletter.