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Information Underload: Bad for Employee Engagement

Throughout February, we are sharing multiple great sources of insight that we collected in 2011.

Here is a great post from the i4cp TrendWatcher that we find useful in discussing employee engagement initiatives with clients:

The link to the post.

The short version is that honesty and transparency in unsettled times pays off in spades for organizations. I4cp completed a survey that assessed relative openness of communication for the companies that participated in the survey. You will see in the summary chart below that high-performing organizations communicate better.

i4cp communication performance chart

Source: i4cp TrendWatcher Blog

To quote from the blog:

“It goes without saying that – especially in times of economic uncertainty – employees want honest, straightforward information from the top. Frequent, transparent communication such as updates about the financial status of the organization, M&A plans and the road ahead can help keep employees engaged rather than distracted by worrying about what is going on. Employee-generated rumors move faster and farther through an organization than any official communication could hope to, so preemptive messaging can help slow or stop misinformation altogether.”

Companies that fear a “stampede to the exits,” a drop in stock price or simply decreased productivity if they share anything but good news with their organization are on the wrong side of business history.

Indeed, if bad news is honestly shared, it is more likely to energize employees to help save the day, either by redoubling efforts, sharing fresh ideas they were afraid to share before, and other productivity enhancers.

“We are all in this together” is a trite phrase, but organizations that truly communicate with employees build trust and loyalty, and make that phrase ring true!

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