One of the most fundamental rules of employee engagement is also one of the easiest to implement: internal communication. Here’s what employees want to know:
“How are my contributions to the company making a difference?” Tell employees how they’ve helped to streamline processes, save money, increase profits and satisfy your customers…and be specific!
“What’s going on behind the scenes and in the corner offices?” If there are changes coming that will affect how or where employees do their job, who they’ll be reporting to, or if they’ll even have a job, be proactive with the 411 and stop the rumor mill in its tracks. By the same token, don’t hesitate to spread good news!
“Why am I here?” The obvious answer is the paycheck, but employees also want to feel that they’re a part of something bigger than themselves. Help them feel involved by communicating corporate goals and strategies, both short- and long-term, and explain how they can contribute to achieving them.
And here a few more tips to get you started or keep you on track:
Remember that effective communication goes both ways. So invite your employees to ask questions (and be prepared to answer them).
Encourage feedback without fear of recrimination. Consider a survey to get the ball rolling. Keep in mind than an engaged workforce is ultimately a satisfied workforce and you will ultimately see much more positive than negative feedback.
Be positive. Appeal to your employees’ emotions and fulfill their need for affirmation and security.
Be honest. An engaged workforce will recognize pretense right away. They may also be less forgiving once they’ve come to expect candor from you. Trust them to deal sensibly with whatever news you have to report, and they’ll continue to trust in you and your organization.
Finally, communicate on a regular basis and be consistent with your messaging.