Your company may have the best laid strategy in the world, but if your employees are disengaged and you have a bad culture, the execution of that strategy will suffer. And we all know that flawless execution is what separates the men from the boys, the winners from the losers.
How do you build an engaged workforce (aka Good Culture)? In my forthcoming book – If Not You, Who? Cracking the Code of Employee Disengagement – I outline four things leaders need to do to re-engage their employees. Number three? Create a two-way communication culture. As a leader, you must communicate openly and honestly, and give employees a forum to be heard.
Many leaders think if they don’t share information with employees that no harm is done. The truth is that trust is established when leaders share both positive and negative news. Employees are smart. Many times they know when something is wrong and they also sense when leaders are not doing their “fair share” of information sharing. If you are a stingy communicator, employees will be disengaged and your bottom line will suffer. There’s simply no good reason for it.
Many leaders also think if they don’t ask employees for their input that no harm is done. The truth is that when you create forums for employees to share their ideas, concerns, questions, and suggestions, the payoff is big. It makes employees feel like they are part of something bigger than themselves and that their voice matters, which leads to engagement. In addition, it’s in your best interest to give employees a voice, since they are closest to your customers, and often know and see things that you don’t.
Use every opportunity, touch point, and channel at your disposal to communicate openly and honestly, and regularly seek input from your workforce. When you do, your employee engagement score will take a path that is directionally correct—I promise.