The Secret to Your Company’s Happiness is Communication
With workplace activism on the rise, a deliberate internal comms strategy can help create ownership and stave off worker alienation
“When I grow up, I want to manage employee communications,” said no one. Ever.
This is a line I’ve tried on friends who do manage employee communications, to admittedly thin laughs. They get the (intended) joke: It’s not a role people know much about, let alone aspire to. But it’s become an absolutely critical function for any company employing humans.
Naive company-builders might think employee communications (aka internal communications or employee engagement) requires only a steady stream of motivational messages and reminders about benefit deadlines — a “nice to have.” Nope! You don’t have to look far to see that employee satisfaction — and dissatisfaction — have become a very big deal. Employee activism is on the rise, often in response to corporate values. In a departure from hidebound “shareholders first” thinking, the Business Roundtable, an enclave of top corporate executives, recently announced that employees should be considered key stakeholders for measuring success. The bottom line doesn’t ascend by itself.
All too often employee communications is an afterthought.
Since we spend so much of our time working, employee comms plays a vital role: adding meaning to how we spend that time. Business advisor Ed Holinski puts it this way: “Each employee in your organization makes a conscious decision to come to work each day… to invest (or not invest) their energy in advancing the business. If you do not treat them like important stakeholders, someday they will decide to report in somewhere else.”
You’d think these situations would lead every executive to put employee communications front and center to facilitate ongoing conversation, field criticisms, and respond to concerns. But all too often employee communications is an afterthought…