Want a happier, more productive work force? Start by opening the lines of communication.
Resolution season is right around the corner. But instead of making a needlessly long list of personal improvements, why not focus on one area that has the potential to drastically improve your business? Because really, that’s how we ought to think of internal communications.
When internal communications campaigns are precision-planned and executed, they help all employees understand the goals of the organization, which in turn can have a dramatic impact on productivity.
Back in 2014, the Energy Project—a consulting group focused on ending employee burnout—partnered with the Harvard Business Review on a survey of more than 12,000 employees across a range of companies and industries. Their findings quantified what many employees already know: most people aren’t very excited to go into the office, don’t feel appreciated while there and don’t think their efforts make much of a difference anyway.
But employees who derive meaning and significance from what they do are 1.4 times more engaged at work, report 1.7 times higher job satisfaction and are more than three times as likely to stay with their employer.
That impact permeates throughout highly engaged organizations. Businesses with highly engaged employees have 22% higher profitability, 10% higher customer ratings, 28% less theft and 48% fewer safety incidents.
In a nutshell, if you want your business to perform, you have to take better care of your people. Two of the four core needs of employees—feeling valued and appreciated and feeling connected to a higher purpose—fall squarely within the realm of internal communications. So how to keep people informed, motivated and energized year round? Read on.
1. Mission First
The more you can remind employees of your overall corporate mission, the better. It’s easy to lose sight of what you’re trying to accomplish when every day feels like a never-ending slog of check-in meetings and emails. But there is a higher purpose to all organizations. Clarify it, consistently remind people of it and show them how their efforts (big and small) contribute to the end goal.
2. Recognize Rock Stars
Publicly acknowledging individual contributions has two benefits. It makes the person being recognized feel valued (a primary driver of engagement) and sets the standard for everyone else. Just be careful to recognize accomplishments big and small, that are highly visible (like winning a new client) and that happen behind the scenes (successfully migrating your database to a new CRM system). Try adding individual department goals underneath your mission statement and recognizing those achievements on an ongoing basis.
3. Meet People Where They Are
Internal communications can’t just be sporadic emails (which mostly just stress people out). In-person events or company-wide conference calls, desk drops and intranet postings can all contribute to employee engagement.
4. Get Creative!
Set up an intranet scavenger hunt to encourage readership or a video blog booth to let employees share their recent successes with their peers and managers. The type and frequency will vary by organization but letting people know that you’re looking for their good news and committed to sharing it will go a long way to boosting morale—and your company’s bottom line.