Only 16% of Workers Say HR Communications Make Them Feel ‘Connected and Engaged’

EmployeeChannel, Inc., a provider of mobile apps for employee engagement and communication, has released the findings of a new study exploring communication requirements of nondesktop, remote, and office workers. Despite their different work environments, all three segments share a common view of the importance, frequency, and channels of communication. They also share remarkably similar expectations of both their HR teams and employers.


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Titled “What Every Employee Wants From Their HR Team,” the study is based on a recent survey of U.S. workers. Among a number of findings, the study revealed that employees would like to hear from their HR teams more frequently and consider open communication to all employees one of the top initiatives they would like to see their organizations focus on.

“We went into the study believing that we would find different communication requirements for non-desktop and remote workers when compared to the requirements of corporate office employees,” stated Steve L. Adams, CEO of EmployeeChannel—in a press release. “It turns out that—regardless of their work environment—people are just people when it comes to communication. They all highly value communication from HR and would benefit from a new digital approach to employee communication.”

Highlights from the Report

  • Employees believe effective communication is critical to creating a positive employee experience. Regardless of their work environment, all employee segments ranked “communicates frequently and effectively with employees” as one of the top two behaviors that creates a positive experience at work.
  • Employers continue to face an employee engagement and communication challenge. When asked how employers made them feel, only 16% of respondents across all three segments reported “connected and engaged.”
  • Nearly half of employees from all three segments reported they were “neutral, disagreed, or strongly disagreed” that the HR team’s communication efforts made them feel more informed or engaged at work.
  • A majority of employees also believe that HR is not communicating with them frequently enough. Seventy-five percent of employees across all three segments indicated that HR communicates with them “never or rarely” or only “sometimes.”
  • All employee segments want to hear more from HR. When asked how they wished the HR department would communicate with them, the top response for all segments was “more frequently.”
  • Older technologies, low-tech approaches, and their associated limitations may account for the perceived lack of communication from HR. E-mail and in-person meetings account for the majority of HR interactions for all segments, with phone calls trailing the primary two channels.
  • The three employee segments ranked “open communication to all employees” as one of the top two initiatives they wished their employer would focus on more, following only “positive recognition.”

Survey Methodology

The survey ran in the first quarter of 2017. There were responses from more than 1,200 U.S. workers, with approximately 400 participants responding to every question in each employee segment (nondesktop, remote, office).

The participants represented a cross-section of employers, from small businesses with less than 50 employees to enterprises with 20,000+ employees and included employees with a wide range of educational experience from high school to postgraduate work. The survey also included U.S. workers from multiple industries with a variety of professional personae. To download the full report, click here.