Internal comms: Afterthought or powerful employee engagement tool?

Can you directly attribute changes in engagement to communications or campaigns running within your organisation?
I might be fired for saying this, but I think the answer is ‘no’.

While many factors, both inside and outside the organisation can contribute to employee engagement, some of the key things are:

  • great relationships with managers and belief in senior leadership
  • feeling respected and being recognised
  • alignment with the organisation’s purpose and values
  • being empowered with the right information, tools and systems
  • pride in working for the company.

All of these can be measured with employee surveys, but it would be a stretch to accredit any one change in engagement scores to a particular communications activity or program. That doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t value or invest in effectively communicating with your employees. Internal communication is often treated as an afterthought when it should be a priority.

So why should organisations value communications?

It’s simple — your people are your most important asset – a source of sustainable, competitive advantage to any organisation, small or large. And according to ORC International,

Employees who are satisfied with communication they receive are three times more engaged than people who aren’t.

So why does this matter? It matters because:

Organisations with high employee engagement outperform those with low employee engagement by 202%.

Top tips for improving employee engagement:

  1. Socialise your strategy – make sure employees understand where the organisation is going, and how their role contributes to the business achieving its goals. Get the message across in a fun, creative way.
  2. Empower your leaders to communicate and provide them with the tools to communicate effectively and lead by example. Employees who love their leaders are four times more engaged. (ORC International
  3. Refine your employee value proposition (EVP) — speak to employees and find out about what attracted them to the company in the first place. What makes them want to stay? Check in with them regularly and utilise these insights to incorporate them into your EVP, so that it’s ingrained in the company’s culture.
  4. Say thank you! Sounds simple but it is so important and it works! Recognition and reward is one of the strongest drivers for engagement of employees globally – so don’t forget to recognise your people by saying thank you. (AON)

There are plenty more ways to engage with your employees, but these are a great starting point.