Employee Engagement

How Internal Communication Strategies Boost Employee Engagement

How Internal Communication Strategies Boost Employee Engagement 761 489 VP Legacies

Of the many formulas that contribute to the growth of an organization, one of them is employee engagement. Employee engagement indicates the potential for a company’s long term success because it understands the value of employee satisfaction and retention. In recent years, more and more people are exploring engagement as revenue drivers – recent studies show 71% of executives cite employee engagement as a primary concern for growth.

You might be wondering how to drive employee engagement in your company: the answer is through internal communication. Communication serves as the driving force behind keeping the morale of employees high. It gives them the reassurance that what they do matters and keeps the spark of emotional stakes alive. 

Internal communication entails treating the employees with respect and letting them know that they all contribute value to the company. Modes of communication are vital pathways to achieving your bottom line, and when they’re thoughtful and well-forged, they can also boost employee morale and help everyone feel connected. As long as employees are kept in the loop, given regular feedback, and exposed to a high degree of transparency, employee engagement will stay high. At VP Legacies, we keep internal communication with real personal connections in mind with every learning module we create for our company. Here’s why and how internal communication can boost employee engagement.

Related: What to Include In an Internal Communication Plan

Why is Internal Communication Important for Employee Engagement?

Reports suggest that 85% of the employees around the world don’t feel engaged at work. This could be due to reasons like not being copied on emails or receiving vague information, which makes them feel left out or disconnected from their work environment. This is where the importance of internal communication steps in. 

Here are some of the reasons why internal communications and employee engagement are strongly linked:

  • Open communication between the manager and the employees makes them feel valued. 37% of employees have confessed that being recognized for their work is the best way to feel supported and respected.

As a company, you should make your employees feel comfortable enough to go to management in case they encounter an issue. Employees should also know that managers are being upfront with them regarding current information about the company. Managers should create a connective environment that allows the employees to share professional intimacies with them, be it concerns about the company or concerns related to the industry. 

  • When the internal communication between the employees and the management is poor, employees can feel anxious and distracted. This causes a disconnect between the employees and the company, leading them to hold back key insights from their fellow workers, who in turn feeling withdrawn from their work and the team. 
  • Internal communication encourages conversations between people from various departments. This allows goals to be reached more quickly, as people feel free to interact with one another in case they need help with their respective work. 

If the in-house departments don’t coordinate with each other, the efficiency and rate of progress slows down. This in turn causes work to feel mechanical for most employees, and that’s the last thing you want as an organization.

Related: Internal Communication Best Practices

How to Use Internal Communication Strategies to Increase Employee Engagement

Boosting employee engagement through internal communication is something more and more organizations are formally trying. Some of the ways in which you can accomplish that are as follows:

  1. Make the Company’s Goals and Objectives Visible

Publish the goals you have for your company so that your employees can view them at all times. This allows you to approach your employees from a transparent perspective. When an employer’s goals are transparent, employees tend to find it easier to understand, and therefore work towards achieving that goal.

Clear goals help in improving productivity and performance around the workplace. When your employees know that their contribution aids in the growth of the company, they feel responsible and motivated enough to work harder. 

Find a course that meets your company’s goals at VP Legacies.

  1. Lower the Frequency of Meetings and Emails

While meetings and emails form an indispensable part of the workforce, most companies can stand to lower their frequency. Today’s younger workforce generation doesn’t believe in unnecessarily long conversations. They prefer to achieve tasks quickly yet efficiently. 

No one wants to read long emails. Keep your emails short and crisp. If a message can be conveyed through two lines, then do so. The same goes for meetings. Meetings are usually seen as hurdles in the way of productivity as far as employees are concerned. More often than not employees feel they could be getting a lot of work done instead of having to sit for a meeting whose intention could have been conveyed via an email.

Use the power of internal communication. Employ in-house messaging forums such as Slack to discuss work with your employees and create pathways for personal connection. You can also use Slack to pass on important information before meetings so that no extra time is wasted. 

  1. Make Your Managers More Accessible 

Managers are the people employees turn to whenever there are problems with the work ambiance. Make sure that your employees have a constant line of communication with your management team. Encourage those sort of warm, cordial relationships between these two segments so that a harmonious environment can be maintained at work.

Provide your managers with all the necessary tools of online communication. That way, employees won’t have to wait till weekly or monthly meetings to put their concerns forward and have them sorted.

  1. Conduct Surveys and Listen Carefully

One of the most effective ideas for internal communication with regards to enhancing employee personal connection is conducting surveys every once in a while. These surveys can include questions regarding new strategies, management behavior, and the overall company structure. Make the surveys anonymous – this allows the organization to recognize its flaws and make amends accordingly.

Truly listen to your employees when they talk, be it through their surveys or during face-to-face conversations. Jot down their inputs and make it a point to work on them so that everyone working under you feels comfortable. 

Summing Up

When an organization employs effective internal communication strategies, it makes the employees feel more secure and motivated. Engaged employees tend to be more dedicated towards their work. In fact, employee engagement increases productivity by 17%, with reported profit rates for a company going up to 22% when their employees feel more engaged. 

Therefore, use your internal communication system effectively, and you’ll find your employees consistently working harder to drive bottom-line goals at your company. Find out here how VP Legacies can help you reach your internal communication goals.Related: Crisis Management for Businesses

9 Reasons Why Your Employees Are Your Company’s Most Valuable Asset

9 Reasons Why Your Employees Are Your Company’s Most Valuable Asset 1080 675 VP Legacies

When it comes to your company’s most valuable asset, a lot of areas come to mind. Research and Development, marketing, or even a patent might take the top spot. But that’s not even close to your company’s most valuable asset. The answer is the tens, hundreds, or thousands of employees that make up the workforce of your company. In the 20th century, companies considered production equipment to be its most valuable asset.

However, today, it’s considered to be the knowledge of its employees and their productivity. All intangible assets such as patents, copyrights, intellectual property, brands, trademarks, and R&D are created by people. Therefore, people matter most to you and your business. They are the most essential contributors toward profits and shareholder value. That said, people are key assets for any organization. In today’s continuously changing business world, it is human assets, not the fixed or tangible assets that differentiate an organization from its competitors. The knowledge economy distinguishes one organization from another.

How people benefit your business

Employees champion your business and determine the success or failure of it. The work they do determines what customers and partners see, so it’s important for you to treat your employees with the value they bring. Employees leading an organization might be able to be replaced physically, but their skillsets and knowledge can’t be. This is because each person hired brings a different set of skills to the table even though the job yields the same set of skills.

Besides, the skillset of employees accounts for 85 percent of a company’s assets. Therefore, employee efficiency and talent determines the pace and growth of an organization. Organizations need to recognize the value their employees have and praise them accordingly. This includes their knowledge, expertise, abilities, skillsets, and experience. These are all invaluable and intangible assets for securing a future for the company. So when employees feel valued, they will gladly compete in the race and beat the competition.

Photo by Marten Bjork on Unsplash

Reasons employees are considered invaluable assets

1. Essential to providing goods or services.

Improving employee efficiency and performance are major priorities for an organization. Employees produce the final product, take care of finances, promote your business, and maintain the records for decision making.

2. Employees are the first customer of any organization.

If the organization does not have happy and satisfied employees, they will not deliver performance-oriented results. Therefore reducing the profits of the organization.

3. Employees give their 100 percent to any organization.

No matter what size the business is, success is the result of continuous hard and smart efforts put in by happy and valued employees. This results in keeping the organization going, competing with its competitors and elevating ahead of them all.

4. Employees are the face of an organization.

It’s the satisfaction level of your employees that matters the most. So, if an employee isn’t happy, she might spread a negative word about the organization, even after leaving it. What’s more, is that an unhappy employee will lack motivation and will not perform well, leading to unsatisfactory performance. This results in unachievable performance targets, low profits, and employee churn.

5. They are the nurturers of the organization.

Employees are the ones who give their heart and soul to an organization. Similar to how parents raise their children, employees nurture their organization with their values and endless efforts to take it to the top.

6. Skilled people with knowledge.

The most irreplaceable factors employees bring to the table are their skillsets. Their skills include training and development programs, experience in a specific field, and an understanding of companies’ cultures, systems, and work procedures.

7. Employees are the base of a strong and long-running organization.

Employees run the organization, no matter what level. This means their strength, commitment and dedication, and their emotional connection with the organization can’t be judged as assets in monetary value.

8. Motivated employees make a significant difference.

Employees reach new targets, meet customers’ demands and needs, develop new and innovative products, and perform enormous and huge efforts to achieve the company’s objectives.

9. Employees are major contributors to profits and worth of the organization.

It goes without saying, but employees can’t be given a monetary value for the effort they put in to help the business earn profits. This results in excellent customer reviews and creating brand loyalty from customers. Therefore, employees are the most valuable assets an organization has. It’s their abilities, knowledge, and experience that can’t be replaced. So, going forward, organizations need to place emphasis and importance on the contribution that employees that they have in order to propel themselves ahead.

10 Ways to Reduce Employee Turnover in 2019

10 Ways to Reduce Employee Turnover in 2019 1920 1144 VP Legacies

High employee turnover can be extremely costly and detrimental to an organization. It’s normal to encounter some level of turnover in an organization due to reasons such as retirement. However, turnover due to other reasons, such as poor employee morale, is not good and should be fixed.

A higher than normal amount of turnover is usually one of the first signs there are significant issues in an organization, and if it’s ignored can lead to even further issues such as a decline in workforce productivity. All of this will eventually trickle down into affecting the bottom line.

In short, turnover can’t be ignored and won’t go away without intervention. It’s essential that you improve your communication strategies, amongst other things to take action to limit your employee turnover.

Management studies on reducing turnover are plenty. In this post, we’ll distill the many mitigation techniques out there and go through some easy and practical ways of reducing employee turnover.

We’ll distill the many mitigation techniques out there and go through some easy and practical ways of reducing employee turnover.

1. Analyze Turnover

The first step in reducing employee turnover is getting a good grasp of how it’s happening and more importantly, why.

This means keeping track of how many employees are leaving an organization in a given year and how these numbers compare with the years before. If there’s been a sudden spike one year, look into why this might be the case. Did a major event happen that year such as an acquisition by a bigger company? Where is the turnover happening? If it’s only within a specific department, was there a new leader hired there that may be causing issues?

Drilling down may help uncover possible hypotheses on why turnover has spiked and ways to solve. Numbers alone aren’t enough; it’s essential to know the underlying reason – the why?

Qualitative insights also help. This is where implementing practices such as exit interviews can be very beneficial.

Most employees that have decided to leave an organization are willing to state why. Be sure that these exit interviews are conducted by an unbiased party such as an HR practitioner and are done confidentially so anyone who reads the takeaways from the interview won’t know who the interviewee was.

Establishing monthly employee surveys can also help raise red flags to leadership if employee morale is sinking, and there’s a chance of high turnover happening. It’s important these surveys are anonymous when completed and isn’t collected at a level where employees or managers handling the data could determine who might have completed it.

Monthly employee surveys are a great preventative measure in flagging potential turnover before it happens.

2. Don’t shy away from praise and recognition

The next tactic to reducing employee turnover is quite simple, low-effort, but very effective.

Make sure employees, managers, and the overall company culture value the practice of giving recognition and praise.

If employees are doing a great job, submit an excellent deliverable, or have gone above and beyond in any way – recognize them for this in front of their colleagues. Or if certain events have happened such as the colleagues being promoted or certain milestones being met by a team during a project, recognize them for the work done.

Praise doesn’t always have to be public. It can also be privately done and still be effective. Take employees out for coffee and let know their hard is work is appreciated.

Don’t go overboard with this and only give praise when employees genuinely deserve this.

Praise is a great way to reduce turnover. Employees will feel like their hard work is being noticed and appreciated – boosting their morale.

3. Show employees the end goal and how to get there

Feeling a sense of progress is critical towards employees feeling fulfilled in their jobs.

This means if they think they’ve stayed stagnant in a particular position and begin to get bored of their job – they’ll start looking elsewhere for new opportunities.

Luckily, this one’s easily avoidable by ensuring that there are clearly defined roles and career progression in an organization.

By formally establishing these and communicating it with employees, they’ll start to understand what’s the next step in their time here and what might be the tasks they need to show they’ve accomplished in order to progress to the next level.

This doesn’t always been dishing out a promotion. Sometimes this can be adding more responsibility to their current role or rotating them across different functions to keep things interesting.

Keep career paths transparent, detailed, and supplementing this with regular performance reviews. This means employees will know what to work on to get to the next level and progress through the company – instead of leaving for the competition.

4. Let employees manage their own time

The next trick to reducing employee turnover is simply providing them with autonomy. When it comes to their daily tasks, this may be hard due to a lack of experience, but freedom and independence in how they manage their time to completing work on their plate are surely doable!

Provide employees as much freedom to set their own schedule, and even where they work from. Introduce options such as work-from-home days, and flexible work hours so that it’s not mandatory for them to be in-office, 8 hours, 5 days a week.

Employees can pick a work schedule that’s optimal for them but also gets work done effectively. Having the option to do this might keep them in the organization cause ultimately, there’s no price one can set on freedom.

5. Pay employees well and offer bonuses

Money matters. And this means employees want to feel like they are compensated well or else they’ll leave.

Make sure annual salary reviews are in place and that compensation is benchmarked with the market rate and to what competitors offer.

This can extend beyond just base salary to include other benefits such as bonuses. Make it attractive and it doesn’t all have to be monetary. Pairing market salary along with flexible work-at-home policies can shrink turnover as employees start to value the flexibility over more pay elsewhere but restricted to being in the office all the time.

6. Align values and purpose

Everyone want’s to feel a sense of purpose to what they’re doing. This is the same at work.

Communicate to employees what it is the organization is striving to achieve, and why their contributions matter. This doesn’t have to be altruistic. The effort just needs to go into helping employees see the purpose in what they’re doing. The key is being able to articulate a company’s purpose in a way that connects.

This might sound complicated. But to keep it actionable, translate this down by ensuring managers communicate the bigger context of what their direct reports do.

An analyst helping crunch numbers in an excel sheet just needs to know that this analysis is going towards identifying bottlenecks in the shipping process – which in turn could be fixed and speed up delivery times for customers. It can be that simple and be enough to give an employee a sense of purpose in the work they are doing.

7. Check-in with employees often

This trick is all about habit and it can be implemented in a fairly easy way within an organization.

Simply ensure that time is carved out for direct reports to have casual conversations about how their job is going with their managers. Make this mandatory for managers to schedule into calendars on a recurring basis with every direct report. Keep them accountable by measuring such practices and making it a part of their annual performance reviews.

This should be a casual check-in for 30 min. or an hour and involves going for coffee or a walk to ask how things are going. This practice alone can be hugely beneficial in making a frustrated employee who’s a flight-risk feel heard and reconsider leaving.

8. Create a rewarding culture

Although rewarding for a job well done is great and much needed. Most often, employees want more than that. They want their time with a company to be more than just work so it’s important to create a sense of culture.

This means hosting regular ‘after work’ events such as having managers gather everyone to go for drinks nearby. Or having monthly team lunches that allows everyone to get together.

Cheeky traditions at work also help such as telling employees to dress up in whacky costumes during Halloween or creating a fantasy football league for employees to participate in.

All this boosts camaraderie and makes the work team feel more like family. Leaving your ‘family’ for a job somewhere else is a lot harder to do and starts to reduce turnover!

Moreover, having a team that’s well bonded also means they’ll be more comfortable in voicing any issues that creep up proactively. This allows an organization to address any problem quickly before leaving their job becomes the only solution.

Though hiring the right employees who are a good fit for an organization is important in reducing turnover. The other often overlooked aspect is hiring or training up good people managers.

Some employees can be high performers that excel at their work but can be horrible people managers who don’t really know how to lead, develop, and instill a sense of culture in their teams. They may often prioritize actual work over activities such as hosting check-ins with their employees to see how they are doing. Because of this, direct reports to some of these managers may have no issue with the company but hate their boss so much they decide to leave.

To fix this, if hiring for managers, be sure to vet their people management skills thoroughly, and if promoting from within, be sure to train them on effective people management!

10. Make wellness a key priority

Tackling a sudden spike in turnover can seem daunting, but there are simple, habitual strategies that can do wonders in reducing turnover in an organization. Take our suggestions above and put together a task team to apply it to a company. Remember, high turnover left unchecked can be disastrous in the long-run.

Takeaway

Tackling a sudden spike in turnover can seem daunting, but there are simple, habitual strategies that can do wonders in reducing turnover in an organization. Take our suggestions above and put together a task team to apply it to a company. Remember, high turnover left unchecked can be disastrous in the long-run.