It’s quite simple: the more effective your communication is, the more engaged your workforce will be. Nonetheless, many companies today still lack effective communication tools and methods and undermine the importance of internal communication.
Studies have shown the impact that effective internal communication has on employee engagement. Organisations with effective change and communication programs are 3.5 times more likely to outperform their competitors. An Ark Group survey amongst CEOs showed that almost 95 per cent of those surveyed cited ‘effective internal communication’ as critical. Admittedly, however, only 22 per cent thought that effective internal communication was being delivered.
Performance Reviews and Feedback
The first step in improving the way you communicate with your workforce is looking at how you currently provide feedback to your employees. Do you have a strategy? Do you offer one-to-one-meetings between manager and employee every month, or is feedback something that only happens once a year?
In an article titled Employees Want a Lot More From Their Managers, Gallup shares that often performance management is a source of great frustration for employees who do not clearly understand their goals or what is expected of them at work and how annual reviews and developmental conversations can often feel forced. However, when done well, performance reviews can inspire employees to become more productive and engaged.
Every employee wants to be seen and heard by their employer. Create a feedback strategy within your organisation. Map out your employees’ goals and make them as concrete as possible so that they are easier to measure.
When conducting employee feedback, focus on strengths rather than weaknesses. Focus on what is working well and encourage the employee’s development. Focusing on an employee’s strengths helps increase motivation, which, in turn, leads to higher productivity. The more you talk about strengths, the easier it will be to address and discuss any areas requiring development.
As shared in the blog post 4 Ways to Reduce Employee Stress, praise helps us believe in ourselves and our abilities, helps us grow in confidence, lifts our mood, encourages us to try new things and take positive risks.
Gallup research shares when managers help employees grow and develop through their strengths instead of focusing on weaknesses, they are more than twice as likely to engage their employees.
An A for Effort
An article called The Psychology of Success: Praising People for Effort vs. Ability refers to research carried out by Carol Dweck, Professor of Psychology at Stanford University, which found praising people for their hard work and focusing only on the effort inspires them to take risks, learn from mistakes, and move on from setbacks.
An Inc. article shares the following as correct examples of giving praise to employees, which acknowledges results but focuses on effort:
- “Great job! It’s clear you put in a lot of time and effort.”
- “Great work! You beat a tight deadline. Thanks for working so hard to get it done.”