Gary Cattermole tells us to take a closer look at ourselves when it comes to spreading the word.
One of the most common blockers to effective employee engagement is communication. Here are ten tips on how to boost staff engagement and productivity.
- Invest in a good intranet and newsletter to ensure employees can access information when they need it. Make sure it is kept up-to-date and is an enjoyable and easily accessible read.
- Remember some people like to know everything that’s going on in an organisation, some people aren’t so interested. Ensure your communication channels are open and employees can find out the information they require as and when.
- Don’t fall into the trap of thinking that if you’ve got an intranet and newsletter that’s the communication box ticked. The majority of employees will seek information from their team leader, so ensure all staff are sharing company updates from the top down.
- Knowledge is power – share your organisation’s news, developments with all your staff. It will help them feel a part of your company and valued as an employee. By taking employees on your organisation’s journey they are much more likely to stay loyal and go the extra mile.
- Timing is key: no organisation is immune to the rumour mill, but by releasing information to all at the same time can help quash rumours and negative messaging. If you’ve got a large workforce to communicate with, video messaging is an ideal tool to engage direct.
- If you’re a global enterprise ensure your communications are translated into appropriate languages and that the copy reflects local cultures. Too often multinationals will expect their overseas employees to converse in English, and where it may be second nature to managers, consider how those on the factory floor feel about you talking to them in a foreign language.
- Yesterday’s news used to be fish and chip paper – now we’re digitally connected 24 hours a day. Ensure you embrace modern technology and communicate with your employees – especially millennials – with today’s communication channels, such as social media, blogs, SMS messaging etc.
- Never be boring! A picture can tell a thousand words, so ensure you’re creative at getting your message across, otherwise staff will not engage with your communication material – and you’ll hear the inevitable ‘no-one ever tells me anything!’.
- Don’t forget about your off-site employees when it comes to communication. Home-based workers or overseas staff need to feel as much part of the team as anyone. Encourage regular visits to HQ, as not even Skype can beat a friendly chat and a cup of tea.
- My final tip: be personal, get to know your staff, remember their names, keep them informed, have an open door policy, and always say ‘good morning’ and ‘thank you’ – it will take you a very long way!
Gary Cattermole, co- director of The Survey Initiative a leading employee research provider specialising in employee engagement.