The connection between employee engagement and internal communications

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By Carla Lynn
May 28, 2020
5 min read

What is employee engagement and how does it relate to internal communications? Well, they’re more connected than you think! 

Employee engagement refers to the relationship between an organization and its employees. It’s an umbrella term that encompasses employee wellbeing, company culture, and overall passion for the job.

In surveys and studies, high-performing companies reported that measuring and improving employee engagement gave them a competitive edge in their business performance overall. 

When an employee feels connected to his or her workplace, amazing things happen! Your workforce becomes more engaged, more productive, and more likely to stay long-term. 

In a nutshell, employee engagement isn’t simply a “nice-to-have”, it’s an essential part of a business that requires continuous attention and development.

Employee engagement & internal comms: Intersecting concepts

Definition of what employee engagement means

Intersecting concepts: employee engagement & internal communication

If employee engagement is the destination, internal communications is the journey.

Whether through surveys, polls, or general updates, internal communications is crucial to fostering open dialogue between management and staff. It’s the difference between a quarterly newsletter no one reads and a message that gains the attention of both employees and the business as a whole. 

According to Gallup, employee engagement is often mistaken for workplace culture, but they aren’t the same thing! Engagement is about meeting employees’ needs to set them up for high performance, while culture is what makes an organization special or different from others.

The power of employee surveys

Employee surveys should be the first step in your employee engagement strategy. They are key to understanding how your staff is feeling, and are a practical, comfortable avenue for them to share their thoughts.

When using employee surveys to gain insights from staff, consider the following:

  • What will you do with the results?
  • Will you share the results with others, and if so, who?
  • Have you thought about next steps?

Employees who feel their voices are being heard at work will instantly feel more empowered and engaged. Creating avenues for discussion helps build trust within your organization, which is vital to workplace morale and growth. 

Note: update these surveys regularly to ensure your questions are always current.

The importance of goal alignment 

Once you’ve used surveys to build a strong and empowered team, it’s time to use internal communication tools to meet your business goals. 

Knowledge is power, and it’s essential to communicate your company’s objectives to your staff in a clear way. This is where traditional internal communications channels come in!

Remember, good internal communications is a two-way process. If you’re a manager or leader, work on communicating with your employees rather than to them. Fostering employee engagement is key to strengthening workplace connectivity and teamwork, maintaining goal alignment, and creating a supportive and welcoming workplace.

Here’s how the cycle works: by prioritizing employee engagement, you automatically use internal communication, which in turn leads back to better employee engagement! It’s a continuous loop that never strays off course and keeps your company goals top of mind. 

Not sure how to utilize your internal communication channels? Start with a channel audit! Here’s how.

Make your employees feel appreciated

Remember: employees need to feel appreciated. Creating regular opportunities for employees to be recognized boosts morale and helps them feel connected to your organization. 

Whether it be celebrating an employee’s work anniversary or recognizing an employee for a job well done, make staff recognition a regular part of your culture. 

Many of our customers do this by including the Employee Recognition application front and center on their intranet home page, for a very public ‘pat-on-the-back’.

It’s also important to foster a sense of community within your organization. Employees spend most of their daily lives at work (even if “at work” is currently #WFH). Because of this, it is critical to create a comfortable work environment and a sense of belonging. 

Help your employees feel connected by creating a close-knit culture. How can your internal comms efforts help? Share photos of staff events with an Online Photo Album, or celebrate employee milestones creatively through your intranet features. Or you can even recognize an employee’s hard work on a weekly company newsletter, during a virtual “Happy Hour”, or meeting. 

Employee engagement equals retention 

According to Gallup, “Workplace burnout is reduced to near zero among engaged, high-wellbeing employees who also work in a culture that honors individual strengths.” This is especially true in our current landscape.

High employee turnover can cripple a business financially, costing 33% of an employee’s annual salary to replace them. The non-financial consequences can be even larger.

It’s simple: engaged employees are more likely to stay in your organization. Investing in an engagement strategy will lead to happier, more loyal staff who are likely to remain with you long-term.

So, what can you do to improve the employee experience overall? Focus on culture! Here’s how.

How are you managing employee engagement in your organization? Let’s chat on Twitter, Facebook, or LinkedIn. We’d love to hear your stories! If you’re looking for innovative ways to improve your employee engagement and internal communications, schedule a free demo with us today!

If you’re looking for innovative ways to improve your employee engagement and internal communications, schedule a FREE DEMO with us today! Not quite ready for a demo? Then take our complimentary internal communications assessment to see how your efforts stack up!

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By Carla Lynn

Carla Lynn was a former Intranet Connections teammate.