Road Map to Engagement, Step 3: Communicate Effectively

Road Map to Engagement, Step 3: Communicate EffectivelyOnce you start your plan to improve employee engagement, you’re bound to get a lot of questions. How you answer those questions, and how you communicate progress and next steps, will dictate your level of success. Communication can make or break any engagement effort, so it’s important to keep everyone on the same page. These tips will help you communicate effectively during your initiative and help you find your way on the road map to engagement.

Answer ‘Why’

Employees will naturally be curious about why their leaders and managers are suddenly so interested in improving engagement, and will ask questions about it. But one of the biggest mistakes leaders and managers make is not answering those questions. They may hold back information because they’re uncertain about the process or outcome, but at this point it’s vital to be clear about what the company hopes to do with the engagement initiative. Clarity will help create buy-in from employees, so empower your leaders to share information.

Don’t Hype the Process

While boosting engagement can sound like an exciting project (after all, it can result in a stronger culture or better bottom line), leaders should avoid selling it as a cure-all to employees. Improving engagement is a business process like any other, and overselling it can reduce its value. This is especially important if you find that your engagement levels are lower than expected and require a lot of work to improve; change isn’t going to happen overnight, and employees and managers alike can get discouraged if they expected a quick fix. Communication around the process should be upbeat and honest at the same time.

Highlight the Follow-Through

Companies that are good about communicating through the kickoff and survey stage sometimes drop the ball when it comes to action steps. This often happens when a company finds out it has a lot more work to do than it expected — after all the buildup, things go quiet when leaders and managers realize they will need to change business priorities to boost productivity, for example. Don’t let this happen to you! Committing to engagement improvement means following through on the process, and communicating to employees what changes are coming will help demonstrate that commitment.

Talk About Drivers, Not Numbers

For leaders and managers instituting engagement efforts, it’s easy to get hung up on specific data points. If 45 percent of Business Group X say they are satisfied with their jobs, people may focus on getting that number to 50 or 60, instead of looking at the whole group and talking about what they need to be satisfied with their jobs. Paying attention to drivers, such as “I have the equipment and training to do my job effectively” and “I understand how my goals match with our organization’s goals” can do a better job of helping employees understand what engagement is and how it fits with the strategy of the business. Otherwise, people can focus too closely on simply getting a better “grade” instead of doing better work.

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Talmetrix is an employee feedback and insights solution that helps organizations better attract and retain talent to achieve business goals. Our solution makes it easy for organizations to capture employee feedback (feelings) and organizational data (facts) to discover actionable insights. With a unique combination of software, content, data, and advisory support we can help you measure and improve your employee experience. Contact us today to learn how your company can start achieving better business results.

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