Studies suggest that organizations with high levels of employee engagement may experience increased productivity by as much as 22%.

Researchers also say that engaged employees are more vigilant, attentive, take ownership of their work, and look out for their coworkers and the organization.

What is employee engagement? How important is it to companies? How does it affect productivity? Can meaningful connections also help with productivity?

What other ways can management implement to ensure that employees are engaged? How can management promote good employee communications?

This article discusses employee engagement and meaningful inter-employee communications and how these can affect productivity. This article also lists other ways management can promote employee engagement and effective organizational communication.

The Importance of Employee Engagement Within the Workplace

Good communication can lift employee engagement significantly. Effective communicators influence how things get done at work by establishing a two-way flow of information for employees. These communicators also help executives and managers communicate better, leading to more robust employee engagement.

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Strong employee engagement also promotes various outcomes benefitting employees and customers. For example, highly engaged organizations have double the success rate of lower engaged organizations.

The engagement factor becomes even more noticeable when you compare top-quartile organizations to bottom-quartile ones.

For instance, top-quartile businesses have lower turnover and absenteeism rates. Studies showed that high-turnover organizations with strong engagement report 25% lower turnover, and low-turnover firms report 65% less turnover.

Additionally, employee engagement can improve work and health quality. Business units with high engagement scores report 48% fewer safety incidents, 41% fewer quality incidents (defects), and 41% lower patient safety incidents.

In other words, employee engagement does not only influence workplace communications. It also influences other business aspects contributing to overall productivity.

What Is Employee Engagement?

Although employee engagement is a vital concept within the workplace, its definition can change depending on the organization.

However, one general idea about employee engagement involves providing an organization’s members with the right conditions to motivate these individuals to give their best every day.

These conditions include motivating employees to contribute to organizational success, committing to the organization’s goals and values, and strengthening the members’ sense of well-being.

Employee Engagement and Meaningful Connections

The following are factors influencing how employees engage and establish meaningful connections with others:

  • Employee voice leading to action: When employees believe they have a voice in the organization, that voice can lead to action.

Employees support and influence leaders who encourage and enable employee voice in day-to-day roles and pressing business issues. This participation includes cases where employees are closer to these issues than managers.

Effective communicators provide platforms where employees can share their opinions. These channels include informal ones, such as social media, or formal platforms, such as employee feedback forms.

These platforms can help employees share their ideas with the management and be listened to by those in influential positions.

  • Leadership communication influencing employee engagement: Internal communication teams have a significant role in coaching, supporting, and reminding business leaders of communication’s importance.

For instance, employees who become managers are typically promoted because of their communication skills aside from being skillful in their jobs.

Senior leaders, such as directors, chief executive officers (CEOs), and their leadership teams, must take the lead and become the organization’s best communicators. However, these individuals are usually not.

Thus, internal communicators must be part of the leadership team to improve communication at the senior management level. This assignment allows the management to prioritize communication on their schedule and help coach and support leaders to have this skill.

Developing communication as an essential skill at the senior level is important. Personally communicating the organization’s vision, progress, and strategy strongly relates to better employee engagement.

  • Organizational reputation: Employee engagement is associated with the following factors:
    • Perceived organizational identity: Anything affecting how employees see and think of the organization where they work.
    • Construed external image: What employees think their friends and family perceive of the organization where the employee works.

Americans spend an average of 7.8 hours working in the workplace. This duration translates to 32.5% (7.8 ÷ 24 hours) of the employee’s day spent at work. With this much time, the employee should consider associating with an organization reflecting their values and identity.

With this factor in mind, communicators should engage in topics that raise the organization’s reputation in employees’ minds. These topics include positive media coverage, corporate social responsibility, and awards.

Employee engagement should also consider the organization’s stance on negative media coverage. There is no need to cover up or spin the news. Still, employees should have the right weapons to defend the organization using authentic information, especially to friends and family.

Other Ways to Promote Effective Communication

Communication experts believe the best types of direct communication that can help uplift employee engagement include the following:

  • Listening at all levels
  • Face-to-face communication for most interactions
  • Upward (employee to management) and two-way communication
  • Information kits and guides

Other ways to strengthen employee engagement include:

  • Facilitating employees’ personal growth through job rotation, learning opportunities, and career path options
  • Developing employees’ trust in leaders who are open, credible, candid, provide vision, make time for employees, and seek constructive feedback
  • Building relationships through consultation and involvement with staff and promoting a healthy culture that recognizes and values employees
  • Encouraging change within the organization by dealing with employees with dignity and respect and varying the way narratives describe what success will look like

Talk to a communication expert or your company’s human resources personnel to know more about or suggest how employee engagement can work for your organization.

References

  • Employee Engagement Does More than Boost Productivity

https://hbr.org/2013/07/employee-engagement-does-more

  • American Time Use Survey – 2021 Results

https://www.bls.gov/news.release/pdf/atus.pdf