About once a year, most organizations launch an “Employee Engagement” survey. And… when the results come back, inevitably, the survey will reveal much information about the employees, however it really only ever comes down to one thing: communication.
The surveys will reveal things such as:
There are a lot more results that get reported from the survey. However, I find it fascinating that, no matter the country, nor size of the organization… these 5 are ALWAYS on the list.
So what is the common denominator that is creating all these relentless problems with employee engagement…??? COMMUNICATION… well, actually lack thereof!
You’d think that communication is the simplest of functions of being a human being – yet in reality it’s somehow the hardest to consistently deliver!
Some will argue that different cultures, languages, demographics, religions, social statures, etc., all play a role in our inability to communicate. Therefore, as leaders within the same organization, one would think that we could figure out a way to converse, correspond, convey, impart, transmit, and connect with each other easily if we’re in the same country, speaking the same language, doing the same job… right? Nope! Survey, after survey tells us the same thing… we are, in general, quite inefficient at communication.
As leaders then, what do we do? Well, the answer is less complex than you think.
The first step is trust. Trusting the people that you are communicating to. I have talked with an unbelievable amount of executives and leaders that tell me that they do not trust their team with details on strategy, direction, and generally what is going on in the business. I am not kidding. True statement! If as a leader, one does not trust their people to hear and act on certain messages, then either they have the wrong people or they are the wrong leader (it is usually the latter).
The second step is sharing. Sharing the vision on a regular basis (not just putting it on the Board Room wall), the strategies, and how individual’s roles and responsibilities actually contribute to the achievement of the vision and the success of the company. It is shocking how many people want to do a good job, but have no idea what good looks like!
The third step is to communicate often (everyday) and through multiple channels. Face-to-face, email, internet, etc. Trust me; there is no such thing as “Over Communicating!”
As a leader, get better at communicating and watch your team engagement and results sky-rocket. Then, watch your career and success follow closely behind.