Opinion

6 channels of communication that keep employees engaged

It seems that all the signs currently point towards a post-recession Britain. As we ease ourselves out of the economic slump some of us are now beginning to look at growing business.

Employers can make the most of the upturn by looking at their employee engagement strategy. Proven to boost the bottom line through increased productivity, lower staff turnover and improved customer satisfaction, employee engagement is becoming ever more important.

A recent report by the Harvard Business Review (HBR) surveyed companies around the world and confirms that employee engagement is vital in competitive job markets – and it’s beginning to heat up out there with job vacancies increasing! Also, a staggering 71% of companies surveyed rank engagement as very important in achieving organisational success.

So whether you’re an SME or big employer recruiting staff in Cambridgeshire, Essex, Norfolk or Suffolk, you really need to address what you are doing to keep employees close.

Why not take a look at your communications. They can strengthen the relationship between employer and employee, by sharing news, recognising achievements and asking for opinions. Taking inspiration from the HBR report, here’s how you can tap into communications:

1.    Involve senior management

Senior-level management need to listen to what their teams are telling them, and respond effectively. Be it survey feedback or face-to-face discussions, getting to the root of issues is essential. Decision-makers can then set business objectives that their employees can realistically implement, and feel they’re achieving their goals. After all an employee’s drive can come to a sudden halt if they feel their given tasks are unachievable.

2.    All-staff meetings

Public recognition is fantastic for morale! When a team or an employee is thanked in front of the whole organisation they’re going to feel that their hard work is valued. This can be an easy route to engaging with staff on a regular basis. Updates on your organisation’s successes and charity work is another way to showing staff that their efforts are worthwhile. Thanking anyone who is leaving for their contribution will also encourage staff to take positive stories with them to their next job.

3.    Staff development

Giving employees opportunities to train and expand on their skill base is fundamental in keeping their loyalty. As the employer you get to invest in your people which helps to build your business. Whether it’s first aid, leadership skills or professional qualifications, giving staff the time to focus on their development leads to increased levels of satisfaction. Everyone wins!

4.    Staff intranet or magazine

From news stories, staff surveys and case studies to employee interviews, how-to guides and fact sheets, your intranet or magazine is a fantastic resource for engagement. Running stories on employees’ achievements (both in and out of work) can be really uplifting. It not only helps build a family atmosphere, but it’s another form of public recognition that most of us love! Encouraging the sharing of knowledge and providing guidelines in areas such as IT can help employees do their jobs better and help them save a lot of time spent looking for answers.

5.    Corporate social media

Some employers use social media to engage staff. The professional networking platform, LinkedIn, can be a fantastic tool to keep apprentices informed of company news and entry-level job vacancies, for example. Also connecting social media to your intranet means your news can go viral among colleagues, their friends and family.

6.    Detailed job descriptions

Employee engagement starts with recruitment! Making sure you recruit the right person and managing their expectations will support your engagement strategy, and increase the chances of the staff member being able to do their job well. A thorough description of the job’s objectives and limitations is vital in attracting the best applicant for your organisation.

Taking just a couple of these examples could be a great way to test out new approaches to employee engagement. There’s a plethora of information online, or you could get a specialist in to get thing rolling. In fact this year’s ‘Best Employer, Eastern Region’ survey gives you the chance to find out what your staff think. Why not get involved?