Inadequate and ineffective employee communications can be your worst enemy when it comes to employee motivation. It can result in high staff attrition rates, reduced customer satisfaction and falling productivity.
When it comes to employee motivation, employee communications are your best friend. Not only do they have a positive impact on employee motivation, but they also improve employee happiness and loyalty, because effective communications contribute to employees feeling trusted and respected. And we know from several studies that organisations that treat people with respect and trust are significantly more successful than those that do not.
Here are five ways effective communication in the workplace improves employee motivation:
Workplaces need effective relationships between colleagues, managers and departments in order to be successful. Effective communication between employees at all levels strengthens relationships and ensures everyone is on the same page. This creates a positive working environment and improves employee motivation and productivity.
To be effective when it comes to building and strengthening relationships, communication needs to be transparent and precise. Clarity is also crucial as unclear communication can lead to expectations not being met, relationships being spoiled and a breakdown of trust which can result in demotivated employees.
Innovation and creativity
Internal communication drives collaboration, when communication and information flows freely and openly between colleagues and those in other departments it inspires efforts to collaborate, improves knowledge sharing and gives employees access to other peoples’ skills that might help them do their job better. An internal social media platform that allows people to connect is a great way to encourage collaboration.
Encouraging employees to submit useful ideas helps your company thrive and take advantage of new opportunities. Formalised employee ideas schemes generate hundreds of business improvement ideas and feedback is an essential tool yet many companies fail to offer a well-structured means to submit ideas and feedback to employees on their ideas. An employee ideas scheme which includes status updates and feedback is an excellent way to encourage idea generation, recognise the impact every individual can make to your business and improve employee motivation.
Giving employees an opportunity to get involved in making decisions has a significant positive effect on employee motivation. Studies tell us that managers who engage their employees in decision-making and problem solving within day-to-day operations have more satisfied employees with higher levels of productivity.
Involving employee in decision-making by explaining the issue and asking for their thoughts and ideas demonstrates to employees that their perspective and opinions are valued, and it can lead to solutions managers had not considered. However, managers need to ensure that they are providing meaningful opportunities for employees to participate in decision-making, rather than just paying lip service to it.
Employees like to know what is happening within their organisation so it is vital that employers have effective communication channels that reach all their employees. Sharing information with employees ensures that everyone is on the same page and shares the same understanding of the company goals and vision.
Employers should share all appropriate information with employees unless it is confidential, but care needs to be taken to avoid bombarding employees with information and contributing to information overload.
Career and personal development
It is well known that career development opportunities are a significant contributor to employee motivation. Effective communication and between employees and managers, and between managers and HR, helps managers and employees identify opportunities for career and personal development within the organisation.
Managers, employees and HR professionals need to work together to develop training programmes that improve employees’ skills and knowledge, whether that is identifying secondment opportunities, training courses, or assigning a mentor.
HR professionals and managers need to understand the critical role communication in the workplace plays in employee motivation and help facilitate better employee communications at all levels.