Do Employees Know What’s Going On?

If you were to ask your employees, “What are the critical issues going on at our company right now?” would they be able to provide an answer?

You might be surprised to find that over 1/3 of employees could not answer that question most of the time.

The American Management Association conducted a survey of senior managers, executives, and employees, asking them “Do employees feel they know what’s really going on at your company?”

Survey results showed that:

*9% answered “Yes, most of the time.”

*55% answered “Yes, some of the time.”

*36% answered “No, hardly ever.”

In essence 91% of employees have little or no knowledge of the key issues of their company.

When employees are unsure of what is going on at a company, how can they be sure they are adding value or working toward the company’s goals?

HR POINTER: In order to ensure that employees understand what’s going on, including the strategic direction and goals of the company, communication is key.

The most effective communication strategy includes repetition of key messages in multiple ways.  Using email, voicemail, intranet, meetings, and social media will ensure that employees will get the message in the form that works best for them.

The message should be consistent, but just because it’s repetitive doesn’t mean it has to be boring.  Different examples and/or anecdotes can be added, as long as the key message remains the same.

Giselle Kovary, managing partner of n-gen People Performance Inc. and co-author of “Upgrade Now: 9 Advanced Leadership Skills” suggests the following tips for improving communication with employees:

*Understand what matters to employees, such as their fears, concerns, hopes and expectations.  Take those concerns seriously and be sure your communications address those issues.

*Frame the company’s priorities in ways that employees understand and can rally around.

*Remind employees regularly about company priorities.

*Establish a feedback loop to be sure employees understand what leaders are saying.

*Make sure employees understand the “why.”  As such, communicate the appropriate background information and context.

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