Effective communication with employees is essential to the success of your business. Internal communication that addresses the concerns and interests of your employees engages them on a personal level. And that engagement results in a range of positive business outcomes.
What Is Employee Engagement
When it comes to your employees, there are three categories of engagement: engaged, not engaged, and actively disengaged.
Engaged employees are highly involved and enthusiastic about their work and workplace. They drive performance and innovation. And they move the organization forward.
Not-engaged employees are psychologically detatched from their work and the workplace. Because their engagement needs are not being met, they’re putting in time, but not energy and passion.
Actively disengaged employees are more than just unhappy at work. They’re resentful that their needs aren’t being met and they act out their resentment. They represent an ongoing risk to the organization because they can undermine what their engaged coworkers accomplish.
It can be difficult to measure the engagement quality of your employees. Fortunately, we have generalized yardstick to rely on. According to a recent Gallop poll, 33 percent of workers are engaged in their jobs, 51 percent are not engaged, and 16 percent are actively disengaged. Gallup calls this an “engagement crisis.”
Your organization might be experiencing an engagement crisis without you even knowing it. Before looking at ways you can improve engagement, let’s discover the tangible value that an engaged workforce brings to the organization.
How Employee Engagement Improves Employee Satisfaction
Engaged workers are satisfied workers. They show up to work and they perform better at their jobs. Highly engaged business units realize a 41 percent reduction in absenteeism and a 17 percent increase in productivity.
On the other hand, non-engaged and disengaged workers have a “grass is greener” mentality and are more likely to leave their job. They may be dissatisfied with their career growth opportunities, their pay and benefits, their managers and leadership, or the company’s culture. Whatever the reason for their dissatisfaction, they are more difficult to retain. When they leave, the organization must start the costly recruitment, hiring, and onboarding process all over again.
How Employee Engagement Improves Compliance
Engaged workers are safer workers. That’s because they are more mindful of their surroundings. They are aware of safety notices and procedures. And they are diligent about keeping their coworkers protected. In fact, highly engaged business units realize a 70 percent decrease in employee safety incidents and a 58 percent decrease in patient safety incidents.
Non-engaged and disengaged workers make more mistakes because they are less focused on performing well at their roles. This makes them a liability.
How Employee Engagement Improves Profitability
Greater job satisfaction, higher attendance, improved safety compliance, and other positives that flow from having engaged employees fuel increased profits. When taken together, the behaviors of highly engaged business units result in 21% greater profitability.
Now, let’s take a look at what methods of communicating with employees will bring results like the ones we’ve discussed to your organization.
Effective Channels of Communication
Organizations have more success with engagement when they treat employees as stakeholders in the future of their jobs and the future of the organization. That’s because the modern workforce expects their work environment to be engaging. Today, effective internal communication isn’t an option, it’s an urgent need.
One type of communication is getting required information into the hands of your employees in a timely manner. At a minimum, paychecks with properly completed paystubs must be delivered on time every time. Similarly, employees expect their annual W2 forms to be delivered on or before the January 31st deadline. Failure to handle these basic communications will result in extremely high levels of frustration and will cause employees to disengage.
Another type of communication involves proactively sharing information that directly serves the needs of the employee. A good example is the quality of communication that takes place surrounding the benefits open enrollment period.
One organization might present their employees with enrollment information and materials at the last minute. Another organization may take a more compassionate approach to the process. For instance, management may take the time to hold meetings far in advance of deadlines to familiarize employees with the process, particularly if things have changed from the previous year. Management may also ask for feedback before selecting an insurance provider. These behaviors communicate to employees that management cares about their health and wellbeing.
Effective communication doesn’t require meetings. You can get important messages across using printed materials. A traditional, and still useful, channel of communication is the office newsletter. Frequent and open communication about the status of the business—both positive and negative—and the role that employees play in the success of the business serves to stimulate engagement.
Then there are channels of communication that relate to compliance. For instance, OSHA signs placed in proper locations help remind employees about important safety concerns and their rights as employees.
Yet another channel of communication that nurtures engagement is holiday greeting cards. Sending a specially personalized card to the family of an employee tells that family that you care about them and fosters a sense of community. That will likely motivate them to provide extra support for the family member that works for your organization.
And, of course, there are channels of communication that are meant to directly motivate employees. Whether it is a series of motivational posters or a huge thermometer poster that shows how close the organization is to reaching a goal, these communications support teamwork.
ImageMark Is Your Employee Communications Partner
High-performing organizations make employee communications a priority. They know that an engaged workforce contributes to a more successful organization. However, because your goal is to create a culture of engagement, improving your internal communication takes work and commitment.
ImageMark is ready to play a valuable role in your employee engagement strategy. Our printed materials help present your messages to your employees in ways that are as appealing as they are practical. Contact us today to request a meeting to discuss your next project, schedule a demo, or request a quote.