A shocking 97 percent of employees believe that communication has an impact on their everyday tasks, according to a uSamp Research survey. For many companies, the common misconception is that factors like offering a competitive employee package impact retention levels. While it does play a significant role, it turns out that poor internal communication is just as important. Poor communication and employee relations can impact a company’s bottom line, affecting employee relations, engagement, and, in the long run, employee retention rates. With communication being such a vital part of a business’s success, implementing protocols that support good employee relations and clear communication channels is the best way to avoid the pitfalls of poor employer-worker communication.
The Importance of Good Employee Communication
Ineffective communication and poor employee relations can mean lower productivity levels and a more hostile work environment. In the long run, not only does the quantity of the employee’s work decline but so does the quality. Companies end up racking up additional costs on the business end thanks to extended labor hours, wastages, and even increased absenteeism. Currently, productivity losses attributed to absenteeism hovers at $225.8 billion every year- or $1,685 per employee. Workplaces with poor employee relations and communication often have lower employee engagement rates. Whether it is due to the lack of feedback or poor direction on objectives, maintaining good employee relations can be a good move for the business and its employees.
Promote Open Dialogue in All Parts of the Workspace
Encouraging open and honest communication in the workplace addresses a key issue that hinders employee relations: employees are fearful of voicing opinions that disagree with management due to the possibility of retribution. Even when an employee does not agree with the company’s outlined strategy and goals, many of them end up performing as instructed by their bosses and faking compliance.
To foster a company culture that encourages employees to be forthcoming with their thoughts, managers must first acknowledge how important their input is. Taking the first step and asking employees for their opinion can also help. Also, if an employee does voice negative feedback, management should try to react with reflection and positive feedback. Finally, strive to create a relaxed atmosphere when engaging with your employees. For employees to feel comfortable with open dialogue, management must make an effort to connect to them.
Eliminate Communication Bottlenecks and Redundancies with Software
Having barriers and redundancies in the communication process can be frustrating for employees. It can also be time-consuming, and in some cases costly. A great way to tackle this is to figure out what barriers are hindering the engagement of your employees. Using engagement metrics can pinpoint vital employee relation areas for development like your Employee Net Promoter Score. It gives a useful insight into how your employees feel about your company, whether they would recommend it and what gaps exist in their eyes.
Link Your Communication Strategy to Your Strategic Plan
One of the most common but deadly moves in poor manager-employee communication is the lack of connection to the company’s mission and objectives. Linking a company’s communication strategy to its strategy and goals aligns your actions with your goals. More importantly, aligning your employee’s personal goals with the company’s improves employee motivation and their identification with the brand.
The only way to do this is by addressing your internal communication framework- starting with ensuring your employees are supportive of the company’s strategy. In a study by IBM, 72 percent of employees did not even understand their company’s strategy. For everyone to be aligned, your employees must understand where they fit in, and the value of their contributions.
Finally, work on promoting trust in the workplace. A past study by PWC showed that 55 percent of leaders believe that the lack of trust is a threat to the organization. To foster a culture of trust and open communication, employers must first be willing to put in the work to build trust between themselves and their employees.