The link between communication and employee engagement

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May 5, 2021

Communication key to creating an enriching and engaging workplace culture. There are numerous ways in which effective communication maintains strong connections between team members, from company-wide updates to one-on-one performance reviews.

Studies suggest that as many as 97% of workers believe communication has a positive impact on productivity. With such an inextricable link between communication and performance, it’s no surprise that employers and recruiters prioritise and value communication skills so highly. 

Emerging challenges, such as the recent increase in remote working, have presented a need for new tools and methods to maintain communication of a consistently high quality. Although there are many great ways to increase and improve employee engagement, utilising communication can be the simplest and most effective. Strong communication builds unified teams, gives everyone a voice, and offers space for innovation. 

Communication strategies for employee engagement

Share updates across the entire organisation

Always ensure that employees are kept in the loop with company developments, from small procedural updates to large-scale change. This will be far better for morale than team members hearing things through the grapevine. Updates could be shared through daily calls, video updates, or on a workplace newsfeed - all of which are great options for remote working teams where face-to-face updates aren’t an option. 

Receiving a regular stream of information helps employees remain focused and driven, especially when people are encouraged to offer questions, concerns and feedback. Reinforcing clear communication across all levels ensures everyone has clarity on an organisation’s goals, and that their input remains valued.

Be proactive in eliciting employee feedback 

For workplace communication to have resonance, it has to be a two-way street. This means leaders have to give employees a platform for their voice to be heard across the entire organisation. Employees are at their most engaged when they feel as though their participation has a long-lasting impact, or they’ll just see their work as a series of tasks to be checked off a list.

Directors should hold regular sessions where employees can express their thoughts, opinions and concerns. These should be conducted in a way where everyone feels comfortable participating. Every session should ideally culminate in a series of actions, which are shared across the entire team with one or several leaders being responsible for their fulfilment. 

Encourage regular reward and recognition

The best leaders invest in people, and this means recognising their employees for what they achieve daily. Praise is crucial for workplace engagement, and the empathy it creates lays the foundations for great communication.

To create a culture of recognition, it’s not just leaders who should show appreciation. For instance, team catch-ups should allow people to recognise their peers for going above and beyond in representing the company’s values.

Effective recognition also goes beyond professional achievements. As well as milestones such as birthdays or anniversaries, leaders should also recognise personal accomplishments. Has a member of the team ran a marathon or bought their first house? Including this as part of reward and recognition sends the message that leaders value their employees as people - a crucial factor in great workplace communication.

Invest in the right tools

There is now a wealth of communication tools for employee engagement that companies can utilise to build a more unified and engaged team. This could be one-to-one video calls team members hold to discuss progress or utilising an online chat platform where team members can quickly and effectively reach each other and managers. These platforms offer direct, immediate contact and are highly effective, particularly for those working remotely. 

As well as this, intranet sites provide a communal space for team members to share pictures, status updates, and comments. The similarity to everyday social media sites taps into how people communicate daily and helps ensure that communication doesn’t feel forced. This was a driving principle in our creation of the Totem platform, which provides a dedicated space for team members to socialise, share updates and recognise their peers. 

At Totem, we understand that communication is a defining feature of company culture. We designed this company culture platform to facilitate communication, rewards, and recognition between employees. It offers a space for morale to grow, teams to build, and workplace culture to form. Discover how you can improve your business and employee relationships through communication with our company culture app.