Give Employees A Voice To Learn Their Communication Needs
- You want to focus your team on a shared game worth winning. Check.
- You want to overcome performance issues that are undermining your team’s ability to win at its game. Check.
- You know you must tailor your communication to the unique needs of your internal stakeholders. Check.
- You’re ready to do the work to drive your desired culture. Check.
It’s time to dig in and identify what your employees’ communication needs really are. No doubt, you already have a list in mind, and you may be exactly on target. Or, maybe not. For any communication program to be successful we must not think we know, we must know. To know for certain, you must take a leap of faith and empower your employees to have a voice in the matter with an Employee Communication Survey. Similar to an Employee Satisfaction Survey, a Communication Survey allows employees the opportunity to provide feedback on how employee communication is viewed in the company as a whole. It allows the “patient” to inform the physician of how they feel about company communication, including where it hurts.
Why Is A Communication Survey Important?
- Validates Reality. The survey will statistically validate or invalidate what you think you already know about employee communication needs. This is important as we only want to communicate around what is really needed lest we risk employees feeling they have been ignored, or as we often hear from their feedback, been steadily fed a company line that doesn’t match the reality of their experience in the workplace.
- Identifies Communication Gaps. The survey will show you where there are gaps to fill with communication. For example, if the survey shows employees believe there are too many meetings or too much email is being sent, targeted communication can be used to educate and provide tips and tools discussing when meetings are/are not appropriate, how to run an effective meeting when one is held or talk about the most effective use of email.
- Uncovers Opportunities. Issues you may not know existed may crop up and these present communication opportunities. For example, if the survey shows all of the responses from a particular department/team lean negative, we know we have some issues to tackle and have an opportunity to communicate into this specific group to cause the results or behaviors that may be lacking today. Or, if employees hold little esteem for a particular communication tool that consumes a great deal of budget, you gain justification for a new cost-saving approach.
- Establishes a Baseline for Results. Finally, the survey will set a baseline against which we can measure results. In business, we tend to measure everything – profit, sales, new business conversion, year-over-year revenue by business unit, and so on. At Ward, we believe everything you achieve in business is caused by your conversations, or communication, that leads to the actions you need people to take to achieve your result. Yet, communication is often not measured at all. But, it can and should be measured so you will know what you’ve accomplished with communication and what issues you still need to address.
A word of caution before you begin. Giving your employees a voice is powerful, and they will expect you to listen and deserve some action to follow. If as a company, you are not prepared to act on what the survey reveals, even if by taking baby steps, then the time may not be right for you to start this process. Failure to act on key findings, or simply giving lip service to action, will undermine employees’ trust in the company, and should you need their feedback again, they will be less inclined to participate.
If you are ready to empower your employees, give them a voice, listen and act on the results, contact Ward. Our internal communications team will help develop a structured employee communication survey to identify your company’s unique communication needs and opportunities to boost the results of the business.