Tuesday, March 10, 2009

First step to improving motivation: Communication

Right now it’s almost impossible to get through the day without hearing another depressing story on the economy and its affect on business. Instead of telling you more bad news about how the economy is taking our 401(k)s and morale down the drain with it, we’re going to share some good news on how to improve motivation in your company and you don’t have to spend a single dime.

The simplest and cheapest way to improve motivation in your organization is to improve your internal communication. Especially when management is making necessary, but tough changes including layoffs and budget cuts, it is always in your best interest to clearly communicate those changes to everyone involved.

A new study indicates that workers are twice as likely to put in extra effort for their employer and nearly four times as likely to recommend their company to a friend if they are satisfied with the ways in which their company communicates difficult decisions.

The results of the OuchPoint survey from Opinion Research Corporation suggest that effective communication has a powerful impact on employee motivation and morale.

“Positive perceptions around company communications serve to both boost motivation levels among current employees as well as foster employee advocacy, ultimately resulting in a strengthened employee brand,” said Lisa Wojtkowiak of Opinion Research Corporation’s Employee Engagement Practice. “When the economic situation improves, this strong employee advocacy will be critical to attracting and retaining top talent.”

Of those surveyed, 44% said their company has taken action in response to the recession over the last six months. Nearly half of respondents (49%) gave their employer top marks regarding their effective communication of the organizational actions taken.

The type of communication employees value the most included:

  • Thorough explanations of the actions taken and the reasons behind the action (28%)
  • Being kept informed of ongoing decisions and reasons for those decisions as the economy continues to toss and turn (13%)
  • Providing early indications of impending difficult decisions so employees are not caught off-guard (11%)
  • Open and honest communication (9%)
  • Providing regular updates through frequent communication (8%)

As the economy continues to create more uncertainty, employees are finding solace in the simple ways their employers show appreciation. From effective communication to giving employees the respect they deserve, organizations can effectively improve employee morale in some of the most simple and affordable ways.

For more ideas on how to improve communication and motivation in your organization, read a few of these related posts:

Taking steps to improve employee morale

The one thing employees want at work

10 low-cost employee incentive ideas

5 tips to build employee morale in a down economy

Ideas for everyday training on a budget

1 comment:

Dan McCarthy said...

TT –
Thanks for the additional posts. Great stuff. Seems like everyone’s got an opinion on this topic… can I add mine to the list?
How to create a motivating work environment.

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