Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Employees want more informal, in-person communication

Whether your company is moving offices or has just gone through a round of layoffs, effective communication is critical throughout each step of the process. Employees who are informed will find it easier to adapt during a major change and at handle the stress it creates.

While most communications and human resources professionals are content with the amount of information they’re getting on the state of their company during the recession, many want more opportunities to use social media and have face-to-face conversations with company leaders, according to a survey by Heyman Associates Executive Search.

Heyman developed the survey to gauge the effectiveness of corporate communications in today’s difficult economy, Marketing Charts writes. According to survey respondents:
  • 85% say their CEO has done a good job communicating with them, but
  • 65% would still like more informal, in-person communication opportunities.
When the 550 respondents were asked whether they were getting the right amount of information about their company:
  • 71% answered “yes”
  • 17% answered “somewhat”
  • 68% answered “no”
Those who were satisfied with the communication coming from their company said they are receiving information about the company’s short- and long-term prospects and challenges on a regular basis from an official and credible internal source. Sources included presentations, town-hall meetings, email newsletters, CEO blog teleconferences, intranet postings and staff meetings with their manager.

Those who were unhappy with the amount of information they were receiving say the lack of communication has been causing mistrust of the organization among employees.

Try something new

One of the most revealing findings is the way in which employees want to receive information. Though most companies utilize email and other mass communication methods, the survey showed that employees desire more in-person communications.

When asked how they would improve the way they receive information about their company, 65% of respondents would like more informal, face-to-face communication.

Written survey responses show that employees trust informal, in-person communication because it shows that the company wants employees informed on the latest information and encourages feedback.

Responses also indicated that more employees would like to see more use of social media within the company because of its interactive nature. Many respondents would like to see an mix of in-person and social media communication, believing that it will increase the frequency and trustworthiness of messages.

If your organization is experiencing major changes as a result of the recession, remember that including employees in the conversation and trying new forms of communication will improve your chances of success.

Does your company utilize any forms of social media for internal communication? Do you think it’s a useful tool when it comes to company communication?

1 comment:

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