Employee Communications, Intranets, and SharePoint
It seems like every month a new study reveals that employee morale is reaching a new low, and that the percentage of employees counted in the ranks of the “disengaged” is reaching a new high.
When times are tough, we so often see leaders either pull back their communication efforts, or stop communicating altogether. As any of the 99.9% of us who are not company presidents or CEOs know, all that this does is cause more fear, anxiety, and negative speculation. The result is lower morale and lower productivity – not a good thing when a company is trying to stay afloat.
When people are getting laid off and those that remain are doing more work without an increase in pay, morale is going to suffer. But, the extent of the damage can surely be lessened by great leadership communication.
If I had the chance to give my two cents to the leader of my company, or any company for that matter, I would tell her to start communicating like crazy. Whether it’s through town halls, speeches, blog posts, videos, lunch Q&A’s, newsletter or intranet articles, discussion forums, walking around and talking to people, or whatever, you cannot communicate too much.
I’m far from an expert on this topic, but I’ve read literally hundreds of articles, books, and studies on employee communication and engagement. Every one of them comes to the same conclusion, the best performing companies are the best at communicating with their employees, no matter what the state of the economy is.
I’ve compiled the following quotes from some great business leaders and consultants, and researchers in the field of employee communications and engagement. Several of them are pinned to my cubicle wall to give me hope and inspiration. I only wish I could pin them to office wall of every leader who somehow, in their rise to the highest levels of the organization, forgot the importance and value of communicating with employees.
If you could pin a quote to the wall of your organization’s leader, which would you choose?
“If communication is not your top priority, all of your other priorities are at risk.”
– Bob Aronson, Communications Consultant
Effective Communications create Engaged Employees create Loyal Customers who in turn create Bigger Profit$.
– from “Employee engagement: the what, why, and how” by Andy Parsley
Effective organizational leadership is simple:
1. Have a vision of where you want to get to.
2. Clearly and persuasively communicate that vision to employees.
3. Be consistent in your behaviors as you strive to achieve that vision.
– from “A roadmap for employee engagement” by Andy Parsley
On employee communicators:
They’re a small band of people who help get management’s point of view across to employees, and employees’ perspective across to management. They’re the only people in the organization dedicated to that, and they’re particularly good at it, because they know how to communicate.
– Robert J. Holland, Communications Consultant
On what high-performing companies should be striving to create:
A great place for great people to do great work.
– Marilyn Carlson, former CEO of Carlson Companies
Then it’s a matter of repetition, reiteration, and redundancy. Saying it once is tantamount to never saying it at all. You must say it over and over and over. When you think you have it said too many times, you’re just getting started.
– Thomas J. Lee, Leadership Consultant
“There are only three measurements that tell you nearly everything you need to know about your organization’s overall performance: employee engagement, customer satisfaction, and cash flow…It goes without saying that no company, small or large, can win over the long run without energized employees who believe in the mission and understand how to achieve it…”
– Jack Welch, former CEO of GE
“…an engaged employee understands what to do to help her company succeed, she feels emotionally connected to the organization and its leaders, and she is willing to put that knowledge and emotion into action to improve performance, her own and the organization’s.”
– from “Closing the Engagement Gap”
The 5 Keys to Engagement:
Know what’s most important to people.
Help them develop new skills and advance their careers.
Embody your organization’s values, and show concern about employees’ well-being.
Inform employees how they contribute to the organization’s performance, and involve them in
Appreciate their efforts, and reward them for work well done.
– from “Closing the Engagement Gap”