I was recently researching information for a client to derive recommendations for an internal employee communications program surrounding culture and wellness. I stumbled on a great Gallup research study with the title Why Your Workplace Wellness Program Isn’t Working. It reminded me of the importance of employee communications for business leaders. Here’s the study summary:
- A RAND Corporation study found that 85% of U.S. companies with 1,000 or more people offer some kind of wellness program.
- Gallup’s study shows only 60% of employees are aware of their company program.
- With just 40% of those people saying they are aware of it and are participating.
The study doesn’t dive into the reasons for these numbers. Instead it talks about employee engagement and internal cultures as a driver for participation. An underlying tone in the document cites communications from management as a key driver for employee satisfaction. Often company leaders (including myself) forget that the more we share with our team members, the more satisfied and engaged they feel in our companies. This takes time and focus—consistently.
Ask yourself, as a leader in my organization…
Where do I focus my communications—internally/externally?
A lot of leaders I work with want to see their name in the paper, their ad on TV or a cool website. Do you employees know about these external marketing tactics and why your doing it before it appears?
Are my employees cheerleaders for my organization?
The more employees know, the more they’ll share your news and information. It’s that simple. This doesn’t mean you have to give them financials of your privately held company. I simply suggest sharing your vision and direction so they know where you’re going to get onboard. And every communications plan should consider employees as the audience to know first (or as soon as possible if you’re in a publically held company).
Is your business culture open and honest?
Often business leaders are tentative to share information because it may change. Why? What in life doesn’t change with twists and turns? Just because a business initiative changes it doesn’t make you a bad leader. Be open and honest. Your staff will appreciate being trusted to hear the information.