Communication and engagement in the workplace

Staff Profile - Elizabeth Spencer Phillips
By Elizabeth Spencer-Phillips
Founding Director and MD

Money can’t buy happiness

Yes, it’s a bit of a cliché, but it’s true. Whether it’s in your personal or professional life, happiness is about so much more than just money.

If your employees are only driven by money then they’ll be constantly on the lookout for new opportunities, and you’ll only be able to retain them by matching or bettering any offers they might get.

But for most people, it’s not all about money. Of course, everyone wants to be well paid, but they also want a job that gives them a sense of fulfilment and contributes to their overall happiness. 

The question is, what exactly do they want from their workplace?

There’s no single answer because different people want different things.

That’s why communication and engagement in the workplace are key to staff attraction and retention, as well as overall employee wellbeing and performance. Understanding what motivates people, what turns them off, what gets them excited, and what makes them tick, is vital for a positive work culture. And the best way to do that is by asking them, including them in everything you do., and really listening.

What is employee communication?

Clear, consistent, regular, and effective internal messaging is vital for any organisation. As the CIPD points out, this is particularly important in the modern world as the nature of the workplace is changing due to the digital transformation and flexible working.

During times of uncertainty and change, communication becomes even more crucial. Whether it’s down to external factors such as the COVID-19 pandemic, or internal factors such as a company reorganisation or takeover. Without regular communication, employers can lose trust and tension can build amongst staff as they are unsure what the future holds for them.

Effective employee communication will drive engagement by encouraging dialogue rather than simply being a one-way information service. This allows organisations to understand the pain points for their employees and show that they are genuinely interested in improving their wellbeing.

How to improve communication and employee engagement

1. Speak to everyone

Organisations that adopt a variety of tools and techniques to communicate effectively across their workforce and engage with all employees will be the ones who thrive. People absorb information in different ways so it’s important to cater for this in your communications. Forbes says that the average attention span of a millennial is 12 seconds, and for Gen Z it’s 8 seconds. Consider the demographic of your workforce and adapt your messaging accordingly.

It’s good to have information clearly explained in an email, and some employees may prefer to digest it this way, but consider complementing it with videos, images, webinars, group calls, apps, and face-to-face meetings. By delivering your message in multiple ways you’re giving more opportunities for it to be seen, understood, and engaged with.

2. Encourage dialogue

Effective communication and engagement isn’t only about getting your message across. You need to get information back too. This can be done both by encouraging direct feedback and also by facilitating discussions amongst employees. 

Surveys are a good way of getting direct feedback but they are often not regular enough and can make employees feel somewhat detached from the process. More frequent, brief, informal surveys can deliver clearer insights, and digital or in-person forums allow staff to discuss issues and ideas with colleagues.

3. Get your leaders on board

For your communication strategy to be successful having the full support of senior leaders within your organisation, is crucial. They are a key communication channel to employees, who may need support on how to create a two-way dialogue and encourage engagement. If they haven’t worked in a similar environment before, they may need tools and training to improve their communication and help you present a clear, inspiring, inclusive, and united message to all staff. 

Understanding your needs

At Caburn Hope, we understand that every organisation is unique and has its own challenges with communication and employee engagement. That’s why we have a range of services that can be tailored to your specific needs. Whether it’s developing the best reward packages, attracting and developing talent, communicating change, or aligning your brand and culture, our award-winning consultants have the skills to revolutionise your communication and engagement in the workplace.

Get in touch today and let us show you how we can develop a communication and engagement strategy that works for you.