We know that effective internal communications is vital in helping organisations reach their business goals – but while you might be communicating with your workforce, are you listening?
To inform Springboard’s Internal Wire offering, our recent survey of Irish employees gathered insights into how internal communications is viewed within organisations.
Our results showed that 46% of respondents said there were no defined mechanisms to provide feedback in their the organisation – but 86% would like the opportunity. A further 62% of respondents believe that their organisations internal communications could be improved by providing opportunities for two-way communication.
But what are the key benefits of facilitating two-way communications in your business?
Improve productivity and performance
In working environments where employees are listened to and have their ideas not only welcomed but sought after, performance can excel. A study carried out by Salesforce found that employees who feel their voice is heard are 4.6 times more likely to feel empowered to perform their best work. Similarly, a study by McKinsey found that employee productivity increases by 20 to 25% in organisations where employees are connected.
Our survey found that of those that do have the option to give feedback, 58% say that their feedback is addressed only ‘sometimes’. Not addressing genuine concerns or queries from your team can have detrimental effects on employee trust and engagement. One study from Blessing White found that a third of employees become disengaged when employers ask for feedback but do nothing about it.
Make sure that you show that if you are taking employee feedback, you acknowledge and address it. If issues arise, use employee input to find a solution.
Inform the content creation process
Our research showed that 71% of employees are receiving more official internal communications than ever but almost a third don’t find it useful. By listening to your employees, you can discover what they really value, what excites them and what will make their life easier.
Find out if they prefer video over blogs, business updates to wellness tips or communications once a week rather than daily. By listening to your workforce, you can make sure that what, when and how you are communicating benefits your employees, ultimately helping your organisation deliver its business goals.
So how do you create a culture of inviting, facilitating and actioning two-way communication? As we always advise our clients, the first step is listening to your employees – from actively paying attention to the conversations happening around you, to setting up mechanisms and virtual spaces.
Host open discussion forums such as townhalls and virtual round-tables, where employees can use chat and Q&A functions to share queries and opinions and vote in real time for questions they want answered. If you are carrying out surveys, share the results with them in an open timely fashion – and don’t forget to share the action plan so they can see you are acting on the feedback. Even the humble suggestion box can be upgraded to a virtual postbox, inviting feedback.
And don’t forget to keep an eye on those conversations happening on your social intranets and internal platforms. These can generate once-off nuggets or give an insight into the type of issues that are recurring so you can escalate to senior management.