Why does communication with employees matter?
This factsheet looks at internal communication rather than external communication (for example, with customers, investors or other stakeholders). It may be helpful to read it in conjunction with our factsheet on ‘employee voice’ which covers the history of employee involvement, the mechanisms of two-way communications, and its potential benefits. Our factsheets on employee voice, engagement and branding are also relevant. * Go to our Employee voice factsheet
* Go to our Employee engagement factsheet
* Go to our Employer brand factsheet
Two-way communication involves management talking to employees, and listening to responses and taking action in relation to those responses. Good two-way communication can help to build the psychological contract, in which employees feel valued by their employer, and the employer values (and is seen to value) their employees’ contributions. Our factsheet gives more information. * Go to our factsheet on the psychological contract
Communication is an important aspect of employee engagement. The two most important drivers of employee engagement identified by CIPD research into engagement levels emphasise this need for dialogue. They are: * having opportunities to feed upwards
* feeling well-informed about what is happening in the organisation. These, in turn, promote better performance, employee retention and positive emotions towards work. Poor communication, on the other hand, acts as a barrier to engagement. Our research on creating engaged employees has identified these barriers as being a lack of fluidity of communication and knowledge sharing, and poor visibility of senior management and quality of downward communication. * Go to our survey report How engaged are British employees? * Go to our report Creating an engaged workforce
A strategic approach to employee communication
Our research report Harnessing the power of employee communication identifies the need for a strategic approach to employee communication. Effective communication is a behaviour of the organisation, rather than a series of initiatives. For communication to be effective there must be a culture of trust and openness. The report identifies six key themes that underlie successful communications: * a strategic approach that is built on a shared sense of purpose * the importance of senior leadership attention
* engagement that is driven by dialogue
* communication being a part of good people management
* balancing the use of digital channels and tools
* measurement being part of best practice.
* Visit the employee communication report
Our practical tool for CIPD members HR: taking employee communication seriously outlines the key steps to developing a strategic approach to employee communication. * Go to the tool
Specific communication strategies
It is important that an organisation has a communication strategy for regular communications. In some situations there will be a need to develop communication strategies to communicate specific information. For example, at a time of change the need for clear and regular communication becomes even more apparent, and different methods of communication might be required. Our research report The impact of mergers and acquisitions on employer brands found that there was a need to consider: * regularity and consistency of communication
* honesty and straight talking
* information about the customer message at a time of change. * View the report
Employee communication and shared purpose
Shared purpose is identified in CIPD’s Shaping the Future research as an important factor which appears to support sustainable organisation performance. * Find out more on Shaping the Future
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