There is a tremendous opportunity for employee communication professionals brewing. Now, perhaps more than any other time in our profession’s history, we can cement our place as a value-added business function by helping our organizations fix a problem that threatens their ability to remain competitive.
I believe one of the greatest challenges facing businesses today is the continued disintegration of employee engagement. I’ve written about this epidemic before and research continues to show that businesses are trying to achieve their goals with employees who are demotivated, disappointed in their work experiences, distrustful of management and who have simply checked out.
The latest study comes from Maritz Motivation Solutions. They surveyed more than 1,000 workers across industries and the findings show a continuation of disengagement that began around 2008 with the U.S. economic crisis. Among the findings:
- Only 45% of employees said they feel rewarded and recognized by their employers
- Of those who did not feel recognized for their efforts (which is the majority), 80% did not feel completely satisfied with their job
- Of those who did not feel recognized, 58% did not feel motivated to go beyond their normal job duties to get the job done
- 33% identified themselves as employees who just “stay the course” rather than being motivated to make a difference, move the organization forward, or innovate “what’s next.”
A workforce that doesn’t feel recognized or rewarded for a job well done is a lot less likely to exert much effort in their work, the study found. And a disengaged workforce can be deadly to businesses struggling to compete in an increasingly competitive global marketplace.
That translates into real dollars, folks. Companies today need employees who are willing to apply their talents and skills, ready to innovate, and who will go the extra mile to get things done.
Communication can play a crucial role in turning things around. Studies have shown there is a direct correlation between companies that communicate frequently and openly with their employees and the degree to which employees are engaged. Companies with effective communication practices have more engaged workers, and more engaged workers create more successful companies.
We should grab hold of this opportunity and not let it go. This is a real problem that smart leaders should be worried about. We should be getting time on our leaders’ calendars to sit down and talk about how communication can help re-engage employees. If we don’t, we might have a lot fewer employees to communicate with down the road.
Filed under: Change, Employee Communication, Strategic Communication | Tagged: best practices in communication, communicating trust, disengaged employees, effective communication practices, employee communications, employee engagement, employee morale, employee recognition, employee rewards, engagement, Maritz Motivation Solutions, Maritz Research, U.S. economic crisis |