Top 4 Communication Strategies To Enhance workforce Engagement 

Strong communication between employer and employee is key to building trust and connection, both of which are essential for optimising engagement in the workplace. When employees trust their employers to do right by them, they can engage in their work with confidence that their efforts will be recognised and rewarded.

And when employees feel strongly connected to their organisation, they’re more likely to be committed to their role and the work at hand. By optimising communications with employees you can nurture employee engagement and get the very best out of your workforce.

Here are four communication strategies to help your organisation keep its employees engaged.

Share & EMbed company visions and values

According to recent research, 52% of employees don’t know what their company’s vision is and 20% feel that their company’s values are not reflected in staff behaviour. Unfortunately, employees that don’t connect with their company’s vision and values are likely to be highly disengaged from their work. When employees don’t understand the vision of their company, they struggle to understand the purpose of their role. This leaves them disengaged, and it runs the risk of them looking elsewhere to find meaningful work.

When you communicate your company visions and values with employees regularly, you can remind them of their purpose and keep them engaged in their work. Use clear, concise, and consistent messaging whenever you communicate company visions and values. It’s helpful to share some of your overarching business goals with employees on a regular basis, and when you do so be sure to link these back to the company vision. When you discuss team goals and individual employee goals, explain how they tie into the overarching business targets so that workers can personally connect with the long-term strategy.

Some examples of companies being open and transparent with their employees include Atlassian, who host a town-hall style meeting each week, Buffer, who have complete pay transparency across the business, and Asana, who publish their board notes so that employees can read them, and gain extra context around company goals.

Set clear expectations

When employees know exactly what’s expected of them, it’s easier for them to engage fully with the work at hand. If they feel unsure of their role or their goals, they’ll struggle to fulfil their duties with conviction which could lead to poor performance and results. Research based on 11 teams in a multinational company has shown that role ambiguity, particularly in a team context, has a negative effect. In particular, it leads to a lack of extra-role performance and reduced employee engagement.

Set out expectations early and review them regularly to get the best out of your employees. It’s helpful to link expectations with clear goals and metrics to measure success. Make sure goals are realistic; you might find it helpful to collaborate with employees when setting attainable goals.

Give staff members the opportunity to ask questions about what’s expected of them, not just when setting expectations but at any point in the future. Sometimes workers worry that managers will think negatively of them if they ask for clarification about their role, so foster an environment that welcomes and encourages employee questions and continual learning.

Provide regular feedback

Giving feedback to employees is about far more than boosting their performance. Feedback plays an important role in making employees feel seen and appreciated. It helps them feel that their hard work is recognised, that they’re supported in their endeavours, and that there is room for them to progress and improve in a meaningful way. Recent data shows that 65% of employees want more feedback than what they currently receive, and 69% would work harder if they felt their efforts were rewarded in the form of regular feedback.

It’s helpful to give feedback regularly in a range of different ways. It’s a good idea to implement a formal appraisal system in which employees periodically review their duties, accomplishments, strengths, weaknesses, goals, and desires for progression with their line manager. In addition to this structured approach, be sure that line managers regularly give informal praise for good work and report innovative or creative ideas to higher-ups for acknowledgement.

When it comes to writing or verbally giving feedback, there are several ways you can frame it. For example, you might show appreciation for team achievements, call out actions you’d like to see developing into habits, or particularly hone in on an employee’s strong specific qualities, like customer service. Making feedback specific, rather than just saying “well done” can encourage a repeat of it in the future, and makes the employee feel noticed.

Learn employees’ preferred communication styles

Many organisations take a one-size-fits-all approach to communicating with employees, but this can result in some team members feeling disconnected and disengaged. Everyone has their own preferred communication style; some are most comfortable having face-to-face interactions, while others feel most confident expressing themselves in writing, such as via email or instant messaging. We often assume that an informal tone is the best way to build relationships, but some people prefer the professionalism of formalities. If your communication style doesn’t resonate with an employee, your message could get lost and have an adverse impact on engagement.

By taking note of preferred communication styles, you can tailor your communications to individuals and maximise their impact. To learn more about your employees’ preferred means of communications, you could send out surveys, have line managers ask their teams directly, or even use AI to monitor and emulate different styles. AI can analyse and learn from data incredibly quickly, and it can play an important role in helping you interact with your workforce more effectively.

Prioritise communication to nurture employee engagement

Employee engagement and communication go hand in hand. Try some of these communication strategies to boost employee engagement in your organisation, and you’ll soon see the benefits.

Author: Katelyn Reeds – Freelance Consultant & Blogger

Photo credit: Artem Podrez

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