Hints & Tips Blog

Want to Strengthen Employee Engagement? Communication is critical

In our recent blogs, we’ve been discussing various areas of strengthening employee engagement. These include sharing your vision, organisational integrity, and the importance of effective management at all levels. In our final look at employee engagement, we’ll consider the essential element of better communication.

It’s no secret that good communication is critical in any company. However, employees’ typical complaints are that they feel disconnected and ill-informed. If you can change this and get it right, then you’re well on the way to effective engagement.

It’s vital to have regular communication, both formal and informal, via different channels. One channel for keeping people informed and enhancing their engagement is to send out appropriate formal updates after executive meetings. In this way, you can share decisions, developments, or progress towards overall targets.

However, if you really want to increase employee engagement, communication must go both ways, what we call listening to the ‘employee voice’. The ‘employee voice’ represents employees’ opinions, criticisms, and feedback. If you want to hear this effectively, you need to develop ways to listen to your employees constructively and, more importantly, act on their feedback.

We’ve said before that employee engagement is a two-way process. Central to this concept is the proactive seeking out of employees’ ideas, views, and suggestions.

Many employers are afraid that listening to their employee voice will open the floodgates to a torrent of unreasonable demands and complaints. However, you could be surprised. Employee feedback can be remarkably balanced if a company engages them effectively and with the right intentions.

For this to work it’s also important to establish trust, so people feel able to speak out when things are about to crack – or already have. If a problem arises, chances are someone will already know about it, and we’ve all learned that shooting the messenger won’t solve it.

If you can get your employees to feel confident about discussing a problem before it becomes critical, without being afraid of unfair reprisals, this will be a huge benefit. Not only might you be able to avert a crisis but your people will feel enabled to take responsibility and experience genuine ownership.

If you’re already facing major problems with morale or employee disquiet then it may be too late for effective employee engagement. If this is the case, such problems would need to be addressed anyway.

Employee engagement requires careful tuning to be effective, but many of its key components are simply common sense. If you haven’t done it before it can be nerve-racking, but following our suggestions will certainly get you started on getting your employees involved.


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