Many organizations claim that they have an open door policy and they encourage dialogue regardless of work hierarchy, but the truth sometimes is contrary. Forget discussion, they do not believe in any other medium of communication because employee engagement doesn’t fit in the scheme for most of them. They may not know the consequence, but it affects employee retention.
They set false expectations without realizing that it will cost them a few employees every other time. It is, in fact, one of the most overlooked aspect. Employers should focus more on how they can communicate effectively with their workforce. Considering the opportunities and economic benefits people are exposed to or aware of, it takes them only a minute to weigh the benefits and leave.
Here is what happens if you create and open communication channels.
They invest trust in senior management
Of course employees do look for economic benefits, but if their relationship with their line manager is pleasant, they’re likely to stay longer. In a way, this helps in employee retention because they feel nurtured and mentored. An approachable manager gives them a sense of security and they in turn invest trust in the senior management. Moreover, because of a healthy relationship they are able to handle stress better too.
Regular meetings with employees, holding open houses or just giving a small update about the organization’s growth goes a long way in keeping them engaged. This type of environment creates a feeling of ‘belonging’. They are kept aware and reminded that they matter and that their contribution is helping the organization get closer to its goals and visions.
Promotes two-way feedback
When communication within an organization is a two-way street, it enables people to grow comfortable and not step back from expressing their opinions. This, in turn, is beneficial to both employer and employees because it establishes the fact that no one’s going unheard. Besides, it positively affects employee productivity since feedback given constructively makes them see that there’s room for improvement. In fact, if employees need any training they can approach their immediate line managers and convey the same. This easy communication makes employee feel their opinions are being valued which inadvertently helps keep employee retention in check.
They feel valued
The moment an employee feels that they can share positive or negative concerns without being rebuked, they feel valued. This also increases their sense of ownership in the company’s success and this is what sets them apart from an employee who shows up at work just to get a paycheck and one who gives it their everything because they want to contribute for their professional growth as well as that of the organisation. This sense of progress makes them want to stick to their current workplace.
Related: Benefits of Reverse Mentoring
They feel respected
Communication, when done right by the leaders, can make employees feel respected. Whether it is about a change in hierarchy or feedback, every employee wants to be treated with dignity. According to a study conducted by the Harvard Business Review and Tony Schwartz, being treated with respect was more important than “recognition and appreciation, communicating an inspiring vision, providing useful feedback — even opportunities for learning, growth, and development”. In fact, they are 1.1 times more likely to stay in the organization in comparison to those who aren’t.
Make sure your message is clear each time you are communicating with your employees and there’s no scope of a mismatch between your words and actions. Most of all, invite feedback. Merely ticking off communication from your to-do list isn’t enough. Communication is an on-going process.
This article was first published in World HR Diary. It can be found here.