Enhancing Employee Engagement Through Internal Communication

The importance of an inclusive workplace and the role of communication in fostering high employee engagement.

January 17, 2024
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According to Gallup, organizations that boast high employee engagement rates experience a 23% increase in profit. And, a great way to substantially increase employee engagement is through effective internal communications.

In simpler terms, internal communication is the backbone of a thriving organizational culture. 

Imagine you’ve just recruited top industry talents with an idea of what they need to do to generate income, but there’s a gap in their brand knowledge and culture.

How do you bridge the gap? Effective internal communication.

For your organization to reap the rewards of the employee investment, the new hires will need a work environment where they understand the brand goals and feel valued. And the best way to achieve this is through a culture of open, transparent communication. 

In this article, we’ll explain the role of internal communication in facilitating employee engagement and provide insights into the relevant communication tools and strategies.

How Does Internal Communication Improve Employee Engagement?

Internal communication and employee engagement are closely related terms that go hand in hand.

Internal communication refers to how employees of an organization interact and the different media employed by an organization in disseminating and exchanging information. 

On the other hand, employee engagement is a creative communication strategy employed by an organization to create an inclusive, collaborative work environment. It’s a measure of employees’ commitment and ties to an organization.

Internal communication enhances employee engagement in the following ways:

  1. Positive work experience.
  2. Trust and transparency.
  3. Collaboration and teamwork.
  4. Personal and professional development.
  5. Feedback and recognition.

  1. Positive work experience 

Effective internal communication helps to instill a sense of belonging and togetherness, creating a healthy work relationship that fosters a positive work experience. It also helps to clarify the goals and objectives of an organization, ensuring that employees understand the organization's goals and how their work contributes to them.

Employees with vital company information can contribute their insights, opinions, and concerns to decision-making processes. And, enabling employee participation strengthens their connection to the organization, helping them stay updated.

  1. Trust and transparency 

Open communication entails ethically disseminating information promptly and guaranteeing no employee is out of the loop. According to the recent Edelman Trust Barometer, 31% of employees surveyed do not trust their employers. Thankfully, communication is pivotal to building trust and transparency in the workplace. 

Clear and timely communication is especially essential when there are changes in an organization’s leadership, structure, or standards of practice. Effective communication during these transition periods lessens uncertainty and apprehension by keeping employees informed. 

This helps to sustain employee engagement and trust. It also maintains a favorable work environment since employees who trust their colleagues and managers exchange information freely.

  1. Collaboration and teamwork 

It is more efficient to work together when people understand each other, and what’s a better way to build understanding than through allowing clear communication of opinions and perspectives?

An open and honest communication culture ensures smooth information flow between different teams, promoting teamwork and collaboration. This helps employees work together, share resources, and achieve their full collaborative potential.

A collaborative work environment fosters a sense of collective achievement within an organization's workforce. When employees feel like they are part of a team and working towards a shared goal, they are more motivated to succeed. 

  1. Personal and professional development 

According to a recent report, 94% of employees will remain in a company if it offers learning and development opportunities. Also, 41% of employees consider career advancement opportunities as a key determinant of their job satisfaction.

So, communication about the different training and development programs available in an organization encourages employees to invest in their career growth. It also assures employees of their importance, motivating them to be more engaged. Also, it promotes continuous improvement. 

  1. Feedback and recognition 

Internal communication best practices entail that communication is bi-directional and not the traditional top-down approach. This way, everyone is involved, and feedback is quicker. 

Regular and constructive feedback helps to assess employees' performance, identify skill gaps, and estimate the impact of their contributions on workplace productivity. Additionally, requesting employee input on key administrative policies demonstrates that an organization is accountable and values employee opinions. Two-way communication helps to keep employees engaged and fully immersed in an organization's workflow.

According to a report by Wellable, 89% of HR managers noted that providing ongoing feedback was instrumental in increasing employee engagement. So, employee recognition significantly boosts employee confidence, whether given publicly or privately. 

However, informing the rest of the team about the substantial efforts put in by top-performing employees enhances employee engagement. Not only does it acknowledge their endeavors, but it also encourages the rest of the team to put in more effort.

How Can Communication Be Used To Encourage Employee Engagement?

A study by Grammarly and Harris found that poor workplace communications cost organizations approximately $1.2 trillion annually. So, the most effective employee engagement strategies are those centered around maximizing internal communication.

Internal communication is an effective means of improving employee enthusiasm and boosting company-wide productivity.  

Essential communication techniques that can promote employee engagement include:

  1. Personalize staff communications.
  2. Schedule town hall meetings.
  3. Create employee feedback channels. 
  4. Establish clear expectations for employees. 
  5. Employ digital communication tools.
  1. Personalize staff communications.

One way to maximize communication is to make it more personalized, enabling you to form deeper ties with employees. 

Showing genuine interest in your employees' lives and remembering details in subsequent conversations tells them how much you care. Also, one-on-one meetings provide an avenue for team managers to offer adequate attention to the individual concerns of employees. It enables managers to actively listen and give appropriate feedback while gaining valuable insights. 

  1. Schedule town hall meetings 

Town hall meetings, commonly known as employee forums, are formal employee gatherings where crucial company issues such as workplace policies, business strategies, and goals are discussed. 

Driving employee engagement using town hall meetings requires frequency and ensuring participation. Employees can convey their reservations, clarify their worries, and engage in productive dialogues in these forums. 

Similar to one-on-one meetings, town hall meetings are also effective in increasing engagement among employees working remotely.

  1. Create employee feedback channels.

Constructive feedback is essential for improving employee performance

It is important to create dedicated channels for employees to provide feedback and suggestions to ensure that employee performance reviews are not the only source of feedback but are a 2-way street. These channels can take various forms, such as discussion forums, online feedback forms, communities of practice, and brainstorming sessions. They help to gather valuable insights from employees.

Occasionally, when feedback is negative, there is the risk of employees seeing a personal attack. So, the response to feedback must be professional and empathetic. 

  1. Establish clear expectations for employees. 

Establishing well-defined objectives for employees provides them with purpose and guidance. It gives them a clear picture of how their tasks contribute to realizing company goals.

Likewise, whenever there are any changes to duties, you should communicate these changes to the employees concerned, including details about the reasons for these modifications. 

Not providing adequate explanations for these responsibility transitions can affect employee morale, primarily if it occurs frequently. Frequent check-ins enable you to do this seamlessly.

To sustain a positive work atmosphere, it's good practice to set expectations on how employees interact with one another in the workplace. Doing so results in a responsible and accountable workforce.

  1. Employ digital communication tools.

Internal communication tools facilitate real-time information exchange, regardless of the location. Communication tools like web conferencing, video calls, voice chats, and online meeting platforms improve workplace connections by making information flow seamless. This reduces the possibility of employees becoming detached from work.

It's good practice to select a communication platform that works for all. Also, it is essential to ensure that the mode of communication is suitable for the intended purpose. For example, terminating an employee via email is inappropriate - in person or via a video call is better. This approach allows employees to process the news and seek necessary clarifications adequately.

Internal Communication Tools That Can Boost Employee Engagement

In a recent survey by project. co, 74% of companies have begun prioritizing internal communication by using innovative employee engagement tools, which 

include:

  1. Emails and newsletters.
  2. Video conferencing software.
  3. Team collaboration platforms. 
  4. Project management tools
  5. Company intranets.
  1. Emails and newsletters

The good old emails and newsletters are still very effective in fostering employee engagement. According to Contactmonkey, email is the most typical platform for internal communications. It’s the primary communication channel for all organization sizes, both small-scale and large-scale businesses.

Newsletters are also an excellent means of engaging employees. They help inform employees of upcoming company events, policy changes, existing welfare packages, available skills acquisition opportunities, etc. 

  1. Video conference software

A video conference platform such as Google Meet or Zoom enables teams to conduct virtual meetings. They provide means by which employees can effectively work together offsite using collaborative features of screen sharing, whiteboard displays, and automated notices.

Video conference software is also instrumental to the learning drive of an organization as it can host live webinars.

  1. Team collaboration platforms

Team collaboration platforms such as Slack support real-time messaging among employees. These employee engagement platforms enable quick information exchange in teams through instant messaging, web conferencing, and file sharing. 

Organizations can also use them to set up virtual communities of practice, driving employee engagement even further.

  1. Project management tools

Projects can be demanding, and an excellent way to lessen the burden is to make team communication smooth through task management tools.

These tools, such as Asana and Trello, allow teams to delegate tasks, set deadlines, and monitor progress. Most project management tools also enable team members to share progress updates and any challenges they face. They not only keep employees engaged but also make them accountable.

  1. Company intranets

Intranets are secure internal communication tools designed to serve the unique communication needs of an organization. They are best suited to instill a sense of community in a company. 

An intranet platform like Assembly provides organizations with a centralized communication hub for instant information exchange, even when working remotely. It has the following features:

  • A centralized knowledge base with adequate company information, accessible to all employees in a single location.
  • A powerful search function that makes it easy for employees to find the information they need within the knowledge base, including company news
  • A collection of productivity templates that can help employees optimize their workflow and improve overall efficiency.

It is an ideal employee engagement software for creating an involved and collaborative workforce. Try it Today.

What Are The 5 Things That Can Enhance Employee Engagement?

While we’ve established that an effective internal communication system is a great way to improve employee engagement, there are other things you can also do to enhance that culture.

You can improve employee engagement through the following means:

  • Promote employee wellbeing: This employee engagement idea shows how much you value your employees and care. Consider providing opportunities for yoga classes, gym memberships, and meditation sessions to interested employees. Also, invest in their mental well-being through dedicated company health days, mental health training, and paid leave. 
  • Conduct employee engagement surveys: Surveys are invaluable tools to strengthen employee engagement. They provide a means for you to feel the pulse of employees and help you enhance employee engagement by gathering feedback and suggestions to improve workflow. The data generated from these surveys can fine-tune daily work operations to meet employees’ peculiar needs. Make the most of your engagement surveys using these templates by Assembly.
  • Leverage technology for learning and development: Upskilling and capacity building in the workplace just got a lot easier with the introduction of technological tools designed for this purpose. These learning management systems function as a centralized knowledge base, providing employees access to relevant training resources and materials. Remember, a highly skilled workforce is best suited to handle challenges and explore new opportunities.
  • Be flexible: In today’s workplace, flexibility is of utmost importance. So institute flexible working hours and assist employees in crafting personalized development plans. A supportive work environment boosts job satisfaction and, therefore, improves employee engagement.

Optimizing Internal Communication For Organizational Success

A work environment where employees can freely communicate their opinions and concerns to team managers is worth striving for.

Communication serves as the adhesive that holds the workplace together. Think of it as the secret sauce that adds flavor to a bland routine of work. The vital role of internal communication in improving employee engagement cannot be overstated. From building trust and transparency to promoting collaboration to providing constructive feedback.

Implementing proper communication strategies not only leads to sustained employee engagement but also an increased workplace performance, especially when using an employee engagement platform.

Assembly is an ideal employee engagement platform for prioritizing workplace communication. It's an invaluable tool for empowering, motivating, and retaining an organization’s workforce. Book a free demo today!

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