Defining organisational integrity

Organisational Integrity: we hear it, we see it but do we follow it?

Organisational integrity is and should be the foundation of any working environment.  Building trust and incentivising staff to go ‘above and beyond’ is encouraged through honesty and transparency filtered through great leaders.

As a collective interpretation of individual integrity; organisational integrity guides core values, aspirations and patterns of thought and conduct among staff.  It creates an environment that encourages trust, promotes accountability and consequently, better engagement.

By integrating more robust standards, successful organisational integrity creates an environment everyone wants to be a part of and fully supports, comprehends and understands any structural, transformational changes.

The core values

But what are the core values to base a successful organisational integrity strategy on? And how can you avoid disruption to the integration and implementation of the strategy including performance management, role conflicts and ethical climates?

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Fundamentally, the key value is trust!  Creating an organisational integrity strategy must encourage trust from the team; promote honest and transparent communication and create peer and senior led decisions based on the motto ‘do what you say you will do, truthfully and consistently with your team’.  Taking into consideration these core values will help achieve a more sustainable and operable strategy. We have put together our top core values tips to help create a culture of trust and organisational integrity based on three simple points.

Top three core values tips:

Smarter decisions: Decision-making can be an easy task.  But if you are over-committing or under-valuing expectations, respect for leaders and managers soon becomes waned and tiresome.  As a result, staff motivation starts to drop.  Making more meaningful and attainable decisions can contribute to a better engaged and trusted workforce.

Honest accountability: Composing and delivering decisions can naturally become hierarchical if not communicated effectively or coherently with the team.  Integrating decision making that responds to crisis situations or provides honest account of current problems can have a cascading effect on the mentality of the team.  Avoiding happy illusions will encourage staff to respond in the same transparent manner; it enables them to see the reality of their situation and taking responsibility for delivering results.

Open environment: Creating a more open and receptive culture within any organisation allows staff to feel supported; it encourages them to speak up as and when a situation may arise.  This leads to greater accountability and responsibility to improve, excel and promote a more effective and motivated working environment.

As employee engagement experts, Engage for Success state: ‘Trust is fundamental to high performance in a team, and high engagement in an organisation. Organisational integrity builds trust’.

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 At ClearVoice™, we are experts in delivering employee communication and engagement solutions. We inspire, motivate and transform your workforce to increase your company’s productivity and profits. For more information or help with developing an organisational integrity strategy, call or email us today and let us show you how engagement can boost your organisation.

Intranets – a powerful digital tool?

How intranets can improve employee engagement

Intranets work as a collaborative platform that contain information specific to a company and can only be accessed by its employees.

A well-thought out intranet site can be a powerful digital tool that can help boost productivity and engagement.  It can also serve as a central hub of company information and resources that can help employees do their jobs, quickly and easily.

The benefits of intranets?

Intranets have a catalogue of benefits.

From cutting administration costs to supporting employees within a centralised digital workplace, intranet sites provide a key role in building an inclusive and engaged culture within the company.

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The value to HR departments

Intranets can have a significant, positive impact on key HR objectives through their ability to support, develop and communicate the employer brand and contribute to the overall employee experience.

Royal Mail and Tesco are great examples of how employee focused platforms can strengthen the employer brand and provide a wholesome employee experience.  Dedicated to staff, the sites provide valuable insights, colleague focused offers, company news, uniform order forms and exclusive employee login points which lead to confidential hub areas.

Integrating HR processes, Royal Mail’s intranet site aptly named myroyalmail.com also provides online access to employment policies, health and safety processes, share offers and business standards.

Tesco’s intranet platform, ourtesco.com, gives colleagues a central hub of staff-focused information including magazines, internal product and service promotions, community and charitable events and administrative documents including pay slips and business conducts.

A resourceful tool

Intranets considerably reduce administration costs and resources by centralising information to one area instead of across a multitude of internal servers, cloud-based platforms or even relying on one allocated body.

It also has the capacity to improve roles, expand employee engagement, strengthen employer brands and migrate company policies and procedures.  As a result, creating tangible benefits for HR departments and overall strategies.

Giving employees a reliable, dependable and resourceful digital platform.

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 At ClearVoice, we are experts in delivering employee communications and engagement solutions. We inspire and motivate your workforce to increase your company’s productivity and profits. For more information on developing an intranet platform, call or email us today and let us show you how engagement can boost your organisation.

Guest blog: Engage and stop chasing demographic unicorns

Engage with diverse workforces

Are you stressed about trying to engage your diverse workforce? Going crazy trying to engage millennials in your office?

You’re probably overwhelmed by articles and blog posts telling you how to communicate with your workforce by age, ethnicity and gender. Frankly, it’s unworkable.

The fact is people are complex and the psychological underpinnings that lead employees to engage with a firm morph with both time and situations. Engagement is daunting. That’s why you need a different model – a new way of thinking about engaging your diverse workforce.

Stop chasing demographic unicorns.

The 4 Drive Model

The 4 Drive Model (originally created by Lawrence & Nohria) is a comprehensive framework for understanding employee motivation at its root. The 4-Drive Model satisfies a wide variety of engagement issues with a single approach. This way, you can engage your 26-year-old white female as easily as the 45-year-old Asian male.

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#1: Acquire & Achieve. The first set reflects our drives to acquire things, status, experiences, rewards, etc. and is a common foundation for all engagement plans. Intuitively, you can peg millennials with their drive to acquire and achieve, but hold your horses. They’re not the only ones. We live in a consumer-driven world. Your millennials and your 50-something coworkers received Apple watches for holiday gifts (maybe even from themselves).

Kurt Nelson, PhD, President of The Lantern Group, applies a version of the 4 Drive Model to engagement strategies. He noted recently that “The standard ‘pay them more and get more performance’ mantra doesn’t work anymore. A written letter of appreciation can generate more engagement than a big check.”

#2: Bond & Belong. We have a drive to create positive relationships and engage with others to fit in as social beings. In this way, we are satisfying our desire to bond and belong. This drive transcends age, gender and ethnicity and has more to do with what’s happening in the careers of your employees and changes in their environment. In every new setting, the subconscious mind demands satisfaction to bond and belong, to fit in and for the tribe to recognise achievements.

The modern workforce exists not so much as individual contributors but as dynamic participants in a web of teams. As Nelson noted, “Successful leaders look for opportunities for their people to interact and form social connections.”

#3: Create & Challenge. These drives are about our need to create, improve, master, learn and overcome challenges. People commonly overlook this when considering what engages employees. An assignment with tremendous challenges can contain more motivational power than an average assignment with a big bonus. As historian Jacob Bronowski said, ‘We delight in our own creativity,’ so give an employee something to create and watch them run.

That said, it’s more than just having a challenge in a job. It’s also about expanding the cognitive abilities that allow us to succeed. “To maximize performance,” said Nelson, “make sure that there are regular opportunities or even requirements to engage employees in learning.”

#4: Define & Defend. Defining our purpose and defending our status, ideas and relationships. How we identify ourselves has immense motivational power. While saving-face is one such reactive aspect, the proactive side is staking a claim and enabling employees to raise a flag on their own battlements. These drives serve those who have clear visions of their purpose and goals in the organization.

“Employees will fight long and hard for a company that they believe in and one that has their back,” says Nelson.  This is truly the ultimate gift an employee can give a company when their environment supports it “but the moment they sense deceit or feel belittled, those same employees can turn into your biggest liability.”

Applying The 4 Drive Model

Dr. Nelson recently leveraged the 4 Drive Model with a global pharmaceutical firm in revamping their sales incentive trips. Historically, the firm offered lavish trips for top performing employees to exotic destinations as recognition of their successes. However, the company wanted to dial down the public perception of the trips and at the same time maintain high levels of motivation among the sales reps. The result, after private interviews, team brainstorms and input from senior leaders, a menu of trips was created to allow teams to choose (bond & belong) among learning-centric trips (create & challenge) with senior leaders (acquire & achieve) that were relevant to their team’s success (define & defend).

One Isn’t Enough

Nelson noted that “an improvement in each of these drives impacts organizational performance independently” which is important for any firm. Satisfying all 4 drives simultaneously initiates “an exponential increase in performance”. By comparison, firms see a 3%-6% performance increase for satisfying any individual drive versus a 36% performance increase when all four drives are satisfied.

Chasing demographics is akin to chasing unicorns in a magical forest.  By focusing on the 4 Drives, it allows you to develop programs that address your entire audience looking at where they are at.

Tim Houlihan applies the behavioral sciences to workplace engagement and consumer behavior to corporations around the world.

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Many thanks to Tim, Chief Behavioral Strategist, at BehaviorAlchemy for his time and insight into engaging audiences. At ClearVoice™, we are experts in delivering employee communications and engagement solutions. We inspire and motivate your workforce to increase your company’s productivity and profits. For more information on engaging with diverse workforces, call or email us today and let us show you how engagement can boost your organisation.

Mental wellbeing in the workplace

Awareness of mental wellbeing

Awareness of mental wellbeing has exploded over the last year. It’s driving companies and HR teams to acknowledge, support and integrate tools which can help employees cope with stress, effectively and successfully.

.mental wellbeing, clear voice, silke brittain, employee engagement, productivity, values, culture, bedford, HR, engagement, communicationIn 2016, 15.8 million working days were lost in the UK due to mental health issues. A 2017 report claimed 60% of employees have experienced a mental health problem due to work or work was a contributing factor at some point in their career.

However, with the increase in awareness of mental wellbeing, companies are starting to understand the physical and mental state of their employees.  By using initiatives which encompass the employees’ working environment to open discussion opportunities, companies are understanding the benefits of healthier, motivated and focused staff.

But how can you support your employee’s mental wellbeing?

Supporting and encouraging positive health and mental wellbeing needs to be engrained into a company’s culture. It should not stop at the strategy development stages.  To help tackle the causes of work-related mental health problems and promote wellbeing in the workplace, Mind, a leading charity for mental health and wellbeing developed an informative step by step guide.  Focusing on the working environment, line managers and HR professionals; the guide provides a collection of informative yet useful tips in maximising your workforce’s mental wellbeing.

4 steps to support positive mental wellbeing

Here is a synopsis of the guide to help start the process of promoting mental wellbeing and supporting your staff’s mental and physical health in the workplace:

Open-door policy

Employees want to feel that they can communicate honestly and openly.  Integrating an open-door policy will help strengthen and support engagement from the onset.  Try to implement transparent communication through all platforms; helping promote and encourage staff to share and respond respectively.

Training & guidance

For an open-door policy to work it is crucial to give leaders adequate training and guidance to help support employees.  This ensures that leaders are equipped to advise employees and proactively manage work-related factors that may contribute to poor mental wellbeing. Send a clear message to your staff that their health and wellbeing matters!

Flexible hours

Flexible hours not only encourage a more dynamic working schedule but can allow for a more balanced and healthier lifestyle.  Integrate and demonstrate behaviours which encourage motivation and social support within your team through flexible schedules.  Encourage staff to work sensible hours, take full lunch breaks and recuperate after busy periods. Senior leaders should role model these positive behaviours where possible.

Don’t forget you!

Look after yourself. Always try to ensure you maintain a healthy lifestyle, access social support and develop resilient thinking.  If you can lead by example, staff will soon follow and adapt.

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At ClearVoice, we are experts in delivering employee communications and engagement solutions. We inspire and motivate your workforce to increase your company’s productivity and profits. For more information on developing a mental health and wellbeing strategy, call or email us today and let us show you how a happy and healthy workforce can boost your organisation.

The value of internal communication apps

Are internal communication apps the answer?

As audiences become more digitally focused, demand for communication activity is bigger than ever.  Internal communication managers are constantly finding new channels to better engage and motivate employees that can be measured effectively.

From electronic newsletters to emails and messenger forums, communication gaps or missing information can render these platforms unreliable but are internal communication apps the solution?  And are they the key for an integrated communications strategy?

Internal communication app – talking stats

With 88% of workers owning mobile devices in the UK, and 55% of mobile users looking at their phone within minutes of waking, companies are fast recognising the value of communicating with staff via app technology and in real time.

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  • 73% of adults accessed the internet “on the go” using a mobile phone or smartphone, more than double the 2011 rate of 36%.
  • Statcounter, a research company that tracks internet use across 2.5m websites, said 51.3% of pages were loaded on mobile devices last year, the first time they have surpassed desktop and laptop computers.
  • More Google searches take place on mobile devices than on computers in 10 countries including the US and Japan.

Internal communication apps allow managers to create, publish and monitor interactive content directly to employee’s personal devices without time restrictions.  This gives employers the opportunity to update employees on important company changes as and when they happen.  It also provides capacity to share information that is job specific; improve overall engagement, and develop communication strategies through measurable activity.

Adding value to communication strategies

The main objective for an internal communication strategy is to foster and develop relationships between employees, their peers and employers.  Gaining opportunity to work towards a unified goal.  Internal communication apps bridge gaps by allowing teams to communicate and liaise through a medium that is preferential.

Integrating apps into communications strategies can help solidify and establish a measurable platform that is engaging and accessible.

Have your say and tweet us @ClearVoiceComms

 At ClearVoice, we are experts in delivering employee communications and engagement solutions. We inspire and motivate your workforce to increase your company’s productivity and profits. For more information on developing an internal communication app, call or email us today and let us show you how engagement can boost your organisation.

Culture change: the role of HR

Why you need HR to drive culture change

Culture is significantly affecting how companies operate internally and externally, how they innovate and service their customers. According to Deloitte’s latest report issued at the end of last year, “82 percent of global CEO’s and HR leaders believe that culture has a potential competitive advantage, with only 19 percent believing they have the right culture.”

Unfortunately, many companies face the challenge of how to measure, monitor and manage culture change. Equally important, they do not understand ‘who’ should be interjecting those changes within the workforce.

So, who is responsible for culture change and what significance can it have on a company?

Driving culture change in the workplace

Positive implementation of culture change is the responsibility of senior leaders and the collaboration of HR departments. Senior leaders set the tone for culture through every plan, decision and action executed. They become the drivers for policies, procedures, incentives and strategy implementations. They also help HR teams to integrate and inject change from the top right down to every employee.

Senior leaders communicate culture change with those who communicate in a language employees understand.

Collaboration and communication is vital for positive culture change

It is this transparent and collective methodology which has revolutionised how employees behave and perform in companies like Twitter and Google.

Twitter clearly communicates company goals and overall objectives to its employees. As a result, they have motivated employees who enjoy the team-orientated environment and incentives. From free meals at their head office to free yoga classes and unlimited holidays for some; Twitter employees have their fair share to tweet about!

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In both companies, employees love working with their colleagues, enjoy being part of an organisation in the knowledge that what they do matters; and there is a collaborative  feeling and understanding that everyone stays until the work is done.

But how do HR teams affect culture change?

HR teams are key players when creating and delivering culture change. An inspiring and engaging culture requires constant attention from senior leaders. However, it is HR who have the power to shape, influence and communicate culture changes to employees.

Fundamentally, HR departments are the backbone which unites all staff, particularly in larger workforces. With their finger firmly on the pulse when it comes to employee perceptions, HR departments not only help create change but can help leaders deliver change effectively and strategically. They are the vital component in delivering employee feedback which can have an underlining effect on what culture changes are needed in the company.

Most importantly, HR departments are a constant and gentle reminder that the company needs culture change. It is their drive and determination which helps senior leaders successfully implement and integrate change into the workforce.

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At ClearVoice™, we are experts in delivering employee communications and engagement solutions. We inspire and motivate your workforce to increase your company’s productivity and profits. For more information on how to integrate culture change within your workforce, call or email us today and let us show you how engagement can boost your organisation.

Digital evolution: how to stay current

What digital evolution means for companies today

Technology has dramatically changed how people communicate, connect and perform personally as well as professionally.

From the introduction and evolution of social media channels, mobile apps, real-time platforms and intranet systems; companies are rapidly changing how they use, perform and operate in the digital hemisphere.

With an influx of real-time technology, customer and employee behaviour and expectations are becoming more demanding. Subsequently, resulting in bigger and bolder investments from companies into resources which can keep up with the increasing demands.

Industry experts believe this is an era ‘where technology and society are evolving faster than businesses can naturally adapt’. They advise that these changes are setting ‘the stage for a new era of leadership’; charging behind a mantra of ‘adapt or die.’

A digital maturity…

According to Capgemini’s 2012 report, companies who are steaming ahead of the digital evolution, have developed a digital maturity – a combination of digital investment and leadership capabilities to drive digital transformation in the workplace.

But how is this digital transformation affecting employee engagement and is there benefit to the change?

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The change in digital expectations has led to a more collaborative and open working environment. This affects how and what employees look for in a company.  As well as job stability and career prospects; employees are now searching for companies they feel comfortable, sharing information and ideas with. They want open and honest communication from senior leaders.

According to the Employee Confidence Index, companies who are using internal social media tools have effectively engaged 83.6% of their staff.  Social media platforms not only communicate an open and collaborative culture externally but have developed into ‘relationship networks’; helping companies to connect online to share information and ideas internally and externally.  Thus resulting in more engaged audiences!

Travelex, is one company who has embraced the digital transformation and has successfully transformed itself into a digital organisation. With over 8000 employees, the world’s largest specialist provider of foreign exchange wanted to migrate the company’s communication platforms into the social realms of technology.

Invest and thrive through digital evolution

Recognising the shift in behavioural demands, Travelex introduced a social media strategy which would meet and exceed expectations.  Equally important as the objectives was the investment needed to successfully execute and deliver the strategy internally and externally. Sabrina Rodriguez, Global Head of Social Media for Travelex advised:

Social is not free, this is a myth. It is absolutely a paid channel and needs investment, a robust strategy, management, infrastructure and a sufficient operating model.

Without investment from the business, and by relying purely on organic growth, communities can take years, not months, to grow. That’s an expectation that we absolutely need to set.

Digital transformation has radically changed how we communicate, listen and respond to internal and external audiences. When done effectively and collaboratively it improves, strengthens and empowers overall engagement.  A communication transformation!  What does digital evolution mean for you, your employees and your customers?

Have your say and tweet us @ClearVoiceComms

At ClearVoice, we are experts in delivering employee communications and engagement solutions. We inspire and motivate your workforce to increase your company’s productivity and profits. For more information on developing digital and social strategies, call or email us today and let us show you how engagement can boost your organisation.

 

Creating a successful employee value proposition (EVP)

What is an Employee Value Proposition?

An Employee Value Proposition (EVP) is an employment proposal which outlines what an employer expects from its employees and what it provides its employees in return.  Generally, it is the key tool to engage, attract and retain quality talent.

Similarly, to a Customer Value Proposition (CVP) which focuses on why customers should buy into a product or service, an EVP concentrates on why a candidate should choose to work, stay and engage within a company.

It is the unique value which a company can bring not only to its future but also its existing employees.

According to Richard Veal, Head of Towers Watson’s Reward, Talent and Communication Consulting, UK practice:

“Unfortunately, to many organisations the EVP remains a hidden gem that is unshaped, overlooked or not utilised to its fullest extent. Our latest research provides important insights into what makes the best companies – those with highly effective EVPs – different.”

The impact of an effective employee value proposition

Effective EVP’s encompass strategy, communication and engagement.  This can help attract new employees and align personal goals and values with the company’s goals and values (aiding in employee retention).

To develop a strong EVP that is effective and communicates the overall strategy of the company it is imperative to collate and digest current feedback.  Fundamentally, this should focus on how internal and external audiences perceive the company’s brand and culture.

Find out why employees were attracted to your company, why they have stayed and the unique offerings that competitors have failed to offer. It is also important to assess why employees have left or why candidates have turned down a role. A company can achieve a 360° review of its proposition in a variety of ways. These can include employee surveys, focus groups and external surveys targeted at former employees and job applicants; providing more qualitative and quantitative data.

By establishing current and previous feedback, this will help create a more effective and targeted EVP; strengthening the overall company brand and solidifying industry positions.

Strengthen your company with a purpose-led EVP today!

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At ClearVoice, we are experts in delivering employee communications and engagement solutions. We inspire and motivate your workforce to increase your company’s productivity and profits. For more information on creating a more wholesome and strategically focused EVP, call or email us today.  Let us show you how engagement can boost your organisation.

Guest blog: Emotional intelligence – the organisation is like a brain, not a structure

Emotional intelligence

Does your internal communications department struggle for resources, influence and internal clout? Recent findings in cognitive psychology and employee engagement have indicated that better engagement and positive emotional intelligence is key to a successful organisation.

Avoiding viewing companies as ‘structures’ with people as ‘resources’ is essential in the same way as communicating with employees is central to improving business performance. In essence, results depend on getting the right alignment of strategy, skills and emotional commitment; none of which is possible without clear and effective communication.

People are emotional: defining emotional intelligence

The Righteous Mind | Jonathan Haidt | Engage for Success | correlation between higher engagement and higher performance | ClearVoice

Over the past fifty years, cognitive psychology research has connected human behaviour and decision-making with the emotional state of mind. Equally, this has been identified through highly educated professionals such as data analysts and research scientists.

Consequently, all people are emotional!  Confirmation bias, is a common tendency to filter out evidence that clashes with emotionally preferred narratives. Some people are better than others at recognising and challenging their own biases, but are all prone to creating them. In an interview, leading academic Jonathan Haidt, author of The Righteous Mind, says: ‘…emotional reactions tend to drive the reasoning reactions, and I think most of the neuroscience literature is consistent with that.’

Research indicated a positive correlation between an employee’s personal drive and an increase in performance levels; creating a strong emotional dimension within the workplace. As the UK’s Engage for Success concludes: ‘We now have a substantial body of evidence showing the correlation between higher engagement and higher performance.’

Communication is vital

Organisations who enhance and encourage emotional intelligence promote a more engaged and collaborative workforce. By identifying company structures as organic representations of a brain, business leaders can better understand how to treat their workforces.

‘If we rethink our understanding of the dynamic, organic reality of the organisation, we realise it’s more like a brain than a structure, in which case it becomes obvious that the connecting neural networks need to be active and healthy.’

Philip Whiteley is an author and journalist specialising in workplace culture and the link to organisation performance.

Have your say and tweet us @ClearVoiceComms

Many thanks to Philip, Author & Journalist, for his time and insight into emotional intelligence. At ClearVoice™, we are experts in delivering employee communications and engagement solutions. We inspire and motivate your workforce to increase your company’s productivity and profits. For more information on how to drive emotional engagement as part of your employee communications strategy, call or email us today and let us show you how engagement can boost your organisation.

Guest blog: Speak with one voice

Internal and external communication as one

In a healthy organisation, the internal and external communications functions are close; it is a matter of basic coherence and integrity that strategic narratives to both audiences are broadly the same. The challenge is that in some organisations the internal communications function can lack status; whereas that of the external communications can prompt cynicism. For an organisation’s success it is vital that both speak with one voice.

There are matters of commercial confidentiality, but the organisation should express the same values. There should be clarity about who the company is, what it stands for, and what it’s doing, in the broader narratives. If different stories start to emerge externally, compared with practices and messages internally, this is a warning sign; an indicator of a disconnect between strategic planning and operational reality. Bringing internal and external communications together as part of strategy-setting, scenario planning and operations ensures that plans fulfil their potential.

The importance of honest and open communication

In an organisation with integrity, the marketing, personnel, research, production and senior executive departments are speaking consistently. They communicate with each other, around a shared objective of understanding the customer journey, and how well the company serves its customers when interacting with them.

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Honest and open communication is encouraged, and in both directions; such organisations treat an honest and reasonable complaint, from a customer or an employee, as a learning opportunity; as a chance to improve that customer journey and the employee’s experience.

You can test the honesty of your communications with surveys and with data. Your perception may be that you put the customer first, but have satisfaction ratings dipped in the past six months? If so, do you know why? What do your employees say about your organisation? Have your employee engagement levels dropped? And how has this affected your organisation’s performance?

How is feedback providing an opportunity?

Senior leaders, marketing, internal communications and HR should be inviting and actively seeking feedback from customers and employees at regular intervals. Annual surveys provide a broad insight into engagement and overall satisfaction; augment this with regular pulse surveys, focus groups, morning tea breaks or huddles.

Listening to feedback is the first step, acting upon it the second and arguably the more important step. Each feedback providing an opportunity to encourage interaction, engage in honest conversation and bring internal and external communication closer together by sharing success stories, acknowledging ideas for improvement, and celebrating progress.

The challenges of improving performance, boosting employee engagement, and bringing the internal and external communications together, are all closely linked activities. They are not separate departments, but distinct disciplines that form part of a collective endeavour to improve the experience for the customer and the employee with your organisation now and into the future.

Philip Whiteley is an author and journalist specialising in workplace culture and the link to organisation performance.

Have your say and tweet us @ClearVoiceComms

At ClearVoice™, we are experts in delivering employee communications and engagement solutions. We inspire and motivate your workforce to increase your company’s productivity and profits. For more information on how to use feedback from customer satisfaction and employee engagement surveys to improve your organisation’s performance, call or email us today and let us show you how communication can boost your organisation.