I enjoyed taking part in tonight’s #commschat on Twitter which was discussing employee engagement. It is something close to my heart as I have spent a large part of today discussing how to move internal communication to be less about broadcast and more about engagement. None of this is easy to achieve because all organisations are made up of a whole range of people with different experiences, ideas and motivations. But it is where we need to move communication to.
The world is a very different place than it was a few years ago with extra pressure on jobs from a reducing number of staff and an increased demand. In business and the public sector it is about getting more from few people or a reduced outlay. Communication has changed dramatically over the past five years with access to channels open to everyone.
Unfortunately for many organisations that pace of change in external communication hasn’t been seen within internal developments. There has been reluctance among many to really engage with a social business approach. Instead, they try to continue with a command and control style of communication which is outdated and destined to fail. Some of the problem has come from a lack of value given to internal communication, but this is definitely changing.
There are more risks and challenges that can affect the reputation of an organisation from a disengaged workforce than from any form of media coverage. If people don’t understand the direction the organisation is taking, and are unable or unwilling to adapt and change what they do, then they will hold the business back. When they meet customers or members of the public they will not present the modern face of the organisation. They are also unlikely to provide the best service.
The discussion tonight reinforced the importance of effective employee engagement to a successful organisation and to the service that is provided. When it works well it can lead to cultural change and a modern progressive organisation. That is where we all need and want to be.