In today’s fast-moving world, your relationships with customers, investors or even your colleagues, and managers could easily become superficial and shallow. However, to find success, it is not enough to feign connections with people by putting in the minimum effort to make people stick around. Such a strategy will not work for long and it will reflect in your turnover. Hence, it is fundamental to have people rely on you and one of the ways to do this is by, but not limited to, having an efficient and effective two-way communication strategy in place. This is only because things have grown beyond just sending out a positive message and become somewhat of a conversation with the stakeholders.
Poor internal communications are directly connected to low employee motivation, performance and engagement. The way you communicate with your employees dictates the employee experience you deliver and ultimately their loyalty towards your organization; and that includes the mode of communication, your tone and body language, etc. A recent Gartner survey showed that 75% of bosses believe that they have implemented a culture of flexibility and incorporated employee opinions in their decision-making. However, only 57% of employees said that they have experienced flexibility and only 47% believed that their voices are being heard. There, clearly, is a dissonance in the HR policies or leadership driving those policies and employee experience.
So, how are you going to build an internal communication strategy that inspires your employees and ensures two-way communications in the workplace, without the pitfalls of the past? Designing a successful two-way internal communication system is essentially about listening to what your employees have to say and taking consensus from each of them before making an executive decision. Furthermore, the executive decision has to reflect the employee needs and they have to feel heard. It starts with nurturing a two-way relationship with your employees.
Employee Expectations Have Changed
The speed at which we consume information has changed drastically in the last decade. The same is true for your employees and they want the information to be delivered to their fingertips rather than them having to look for it on a bulletin board. Furthermore, the change also means that employers also have to move away from generic corporate messaging towards more comprehensive and personalized communications that ensure a two-way street for communication. However, numerous barriers impede flow, which we will deal with in a separate article.
Another aspect of this shift in internal communications is about sharing the right information at the right time. For instance, when you are surfing the internet, you expect the webpage to open up within a fraction of a second. Failing which, you are more likely to go back and open another page that loads faster. In the era of information overload, we are being bombarded with an average of 285 pieces of content in our news feed and hence we do not have to look at the information we are not interested in.
That is exactly how employees expect information to reach them at the workplace as well. A Gallup study proved that 74% of staffers feel that they miss critical information at work. Furthermore, its time consuming to look for information. An average staffer spends 2.5 hours a week searching for information related to their work to do their job, i.e., 1 week a year wasted searching for information. Having to search for information creates inefficiency due to disruptions in workflow and causes frustration.