EmployeeChannel’s latest survey was designed to learn more about the communication requirements of nondesktop and remote employees, versus the needs of employees in the corporate office.
The research revealed that—regardless of work environment—employees want the same thing: Their organization’s commitment to frequent and effective communication, and specifically, more frequent communication from their HR teams.
The survey results indicated that employee communication initiatives are critical to a compelling employee experience and are highly valued by all employee segments. All three segments ranked “communicates frequently and effectively with employees” as one of the top two behaviors that create a positive experience at work.
As expected, remote employees ranked frequent and effective communication as the most important initiative, while nondesktop and office employees ranked frequent and effective communication second only to their employee benefits.
The Impact of Poor Employee Communication
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.
What’s more, only 16% of the respondents across all three segments reported that their employer made them feel “connected and engaged.” In short, poor employee communication, especially from the HR team, has a devastating impact on a positive work culture.
To be clear, the role of employee communication is not the sole responsibility of the HR team. However, the HR team plays a critical role as stewards of a positive work culture, and communication is a key component of that stewardship. And employees think so, too.
A majority of survey respondents indicated that HR is not communicating with them frequently enough. In fact, an average of 75% of employees across all three segments indicated that HR communicates with them “never or rarely” or only “sometimes.”
We all know this not to be true. Most organizations and HR teams are firmly committed to open communications. So, why the disconnect?
Getting to the Root of the Problem
The problem is not a lack of commitment from the organization or the frequency of communications from HR. The problem is that messages too often fail to reach the employee for a host of reasons, including the inherent weaknesses of older technologies and low-tech approaches.
Bloated e-mail boxes, stale Intranets, and generic group messaging contribute to poor employee communication. In addition, limited-to-no digital access, different location and time zones, and lack of face time contribute to poor communication.
Improving Employee Communication
If we accept the premise that communication is the foundation to any successful relationship, then the first step to addressing a positive work culture is to move employee communication into the 21st century.
That means taking advantage of mobile, personalization, analytics, and artificial intelligence technologies to provide an employee-centric solution. It means embracing technology innovation—even disruption—to enable organizations and HR teams to reach employees anytime, anywhere with targeted communications that are personally relevant to each employee.
All three employee segments in the survey 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.”
To create a positive work culture, organizations (specifically their HR teams) must heed their employee’s request to communicate more frequently and more effectively. And they must respond with a sense of purpose and urgency.
|Steve Adams is the CEO at EmployeeChannel, Inc., a provider of mobile apps for employee engagement and communication.|