The value of effective communication in the business environment is well documented and undisputed. Yet, it also remains one of the biggest challenges many companies face and the large discrepancies and inconsistencies that exist in corporate communication is often at the root of many business inefficiencies.
Communication challenges become particularly acute when confronting the need to keep frontline employees abreast of business developments. These are the employees who very often have to deliver on corporate strategies to increase production or win over new customers. However, they often find themselves outside of communication loops.
To exacerbate matters further, many employees increasingly interpret poor communication – particularly from executive and management structures – as a sign of disrespect. The persistent communication disconnect that exists between frontline employees and executives is also viewed as a contributor to as many as 45% of frontline employees giving serious consideration to exiting frontline roles altogether.
A lack of effective communication can leave frontline workers feeling alienated. This is often compounded as a result of dispersed geographic locations, a lack of proximity to strategic decision makers, and the absence of bottom-up communication channels that prevent them from voicing opinions and concerns.
In the fast-paced environment where many frontline workers operate, ineffective or non-existing communication channels only adds to business complexity. It’s little wonder, then, that only 50% of frontline workers and their immediate supervisors understand the overall strategy of their company and 74% of employees feel that they are missing out on company news and information.
In a world where information and knowledge often flow freely via social media platforms, the notion of executives and managers being unable to effectively communicate is often received by employees with disbelief. Globally, some 38% of employees use social media sites between one and six times each day for work-related matters. If employees are able to find “solutions”, what is holding their business leaders back from unlocking the potential of effective employee communication?
Improving an organisation’s communication efforts is not as daunting as it seems and solutions do exist. Below we look at four steps that can be used to kick start the process towards improved communication:
- Grow your existing channels
Expand your existing communication channels with the use of technology. Considering the fact that 53% of frontline workers use messaging apps such as WhatsApp up to six times a day for workplace communication an employee engagement app is a good place to start. As a bonus this solution has the potential to tackle a thorny issue – the lack of two-way communication channels.
- Recognise the power of community
Foster and build a community by collaborating with frontline workers by promoting peer support and crowdsourcing ideas through your communication channels. Not only can this improve operational efficiency it’s also an ideal way to develop responses to customer challenges by using frontline worker insights to develop appropriate approaches to resolving problems.
- Ensure inclusive options
If your communication systems and channels have been lacking in reach and content, you can be sure that efforts to improve will be closely watched by staff. Make sure to embrace communication outreach efforts for frontline workers with limited access (such as lack of corporate email or smart phones) by leveraging technology options.
- Review regularly
While leveraging technology is often the surest way of expanding your communication channels. It’s important to constantly monitor feedback and determine how key messages are being received. You might need to make changes or adopt a nuanced approach within certain channels to get maximum impact.
Effective communication via channels that allow for the free flow of communication between sender and recipient is ultimately about fostering a sense of engagement and connection. Companies that are successful in this regard benefit from employees who are 4.6 times more likely to perform their best work, based on the fact that they feel they have a voice within the company.
As a result, it’s no surprise that an increasing number of large, multi-faceted companies with scattered workforces in various geographic regions are searching for communication solutions that can be readily accessed by all of their employees.
The Wyzetalk employee engagement platform, which is designed with employees in mind, improves employee communication, gives frontline workers the tools they need to do their jobs better, promotes information distribution, caters for leadership messages, and allows for segmented communication, all of which improves the bottom line and increases employee productivity.
Our communication solutions establish a direct and open line of communication between corporate headquarters and the entire workforce. It’s one of the most effective ways to align your employees with company strategy while updating them on developments and news that’s relevant to their needs.