According to a recent Gallup Poll, only about 30 percent of the employee workforce is engaged at work. This leaves a widening gap of employees who simply aren’t hearing you, a problem that not only leads to an uninformed workforce but also one with lower levels of morale and productivity.
The competition for employees’ attention is fierce – they are constantly inundated with information. So here is the important question: What steps can organizations take to get the attention of their employees? And what communication channels will be most effective?
With 72 percent of all Internet users active on social media, engagement has become less about consuming information and more about having an open dialogue. Can you really communicate with your employees just a few times a year and expect them to stay engaged? I don’t think so; communication needs to be continuous. Asking for feedback, creating an up-to-date newsfeed on the intranet, and encouraging employees to engage with you regularly on social media are great starting points. By adopting the same communication channels employees use outside the office, you will become more aligned with how they choose to consume information and ultimately more likely to capture their attention in the process.
In addition to social media, employees are watching a lot of videos – and they’re watching them on their phones. In 2014, for the first time ever, U.S. adults spent more time watching videos on their mobile devices than watching television. They’re relying on video more and more as a method of consuming information.
While these trends are important to understand, perhaps the most important consideration in deciding which communication channels to utilize is your actual workforce. Do you work in a multigenerational office? Do the majority of your employees seem resistant to social media trends?
Take a hard look at your employees and understand their communication preferences. In doing so, you can provide them with the information they need, without overextending the resources of your internal communications team which is a real challenge in this digital age.
Social media, video, and mobile-friendly communications aren’t just more appealing to employees because they are preferred platforms, but because they give employees 24/7 access to the information they need. It also makes it easier for remote employees to stay engaged when they’re out of the office – an important consideration as more and more companies provide telecommuting. Changes are inevitable…but just how quickly all companies embrace new communication strategies is yet to be determined.