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Communication Is Key to Genuine Employee Engagement

Communication Is Key to Genuine Employee Engagement
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If you want your employees to feel good about your business and the direction it's headed, you've got to keep them informed, new research finds.

Effective communication with employees results in workers who both rate their employers' reputations favorably and feel their company's best years are still to come, new Harris Poll finds.

Overall, more than three-quarters of employees who say their company does a good job of communicating with them also say their company's reputation is good and that they believe their employers' best years are still ahead.

Employers who want their employees to feel good about the business should focus their communication on several specific areas. The study revealed that discussing company goals, how employees are contributing to the company's success and how the company is performing are all critical. [Improving Employee Performance Is All About Communication ]

Specifically, more than 70 percent of employees have a favorable view of their company and think the best years are still to come when employers effectively communicate company goals and objectives, company performance, and how each worker is personally contributing to the business's success.

"The reputational impact of effective internal communications is clear," Carol Gstalder, senior vice president of reputation management and public relations practice for Harris Poll, said in a statement.

The study's authors said it's up to managers to boost their communication efforts. Gstalder said employees often look first to their supervisors to obtain the information they need to do their jobs and that effective managers share company information in ways that resonate with their staffs. This type of communication goes a long way toward motivating employees to achieve company goals, according to Gstalder.

Despite the vital role managers play, only one-third said they strongly agree they are a primary communicator to employees, and less than half said they strongly agree they are well trained and prepared to communicate news and information to employees. 

Given the impact of employee communication on company reputation, ensuring managers are equipped with the skills needed to effectively communicate is an essential ingredient in today's workplace, Gstalder said.

The study was based on surveys of 2,276 U.S. adults, of whom 1,117 were employed or self-employed.

Chad Brooks

Chad Brooks is a Chicago-based writer and editor with nearly 20 years in media. A 1998 journalism graduate of Indiana University, Chad began his career with Business News Daily in 2011 as a freelance writer. In 2014, he joined the staff full time as a senior writer. Before Business News Daily, Chad spent nearly a decade as a staff reporter for the Daily Herald in suburban Chicago, covering a wide array of topics including local and state government, crime, the legal system and education. Chad has also worked on the other side of the media industry, promoting small businesses throughout the United States for two years in a public relations role. His first book, How to Start a Home-Based App Development Business, was published in 2014. He lives with his wife and daughter in the Chicago suburbs.