Keeping Employees in “The Know”
Posted on December 30, 2012 by Katherine Razzi
Think of an organization as a family. Members of a family like to know what is going on with one another. When big changes happen such as someone changes jobs or deciding to move, family members generally want to know about it. The same can be said for employees in an organization.
It is hard when we feel blindsided by change. As employees, finding out about an organizational change can be a lot to take in depending on how it affects us personally. For instance, many organizations are changing the way they view their employees’ health and wellness. Organizations have begun to change smoking policies and even benefits covered through health insurance. These topics can be extremely sensitive, and most of the time all employees want is to be heard and kept in the loop on changes.
When speaking to a friend about how her job has been going, she expressed her dissatisfaction with the lack of communication she feels her organization provides. For instance, she was told before the holidays that her doctor, once covered on her health insurance policy, would no longer be covered. She felt let down by her organization for not better communicating the changes. In speaking with her more, she said it seemed to be a pattern with the organization as a whole. She said it was hard to enjoy her job when so many “surprises” seem to spring up along the way.
Every organization longs for engaged and satisfied employees. After all, who wouldn’t? The question for organizations is this: What are you doing now the prevent employees from being fully engaged? Easy question to answer? Absolutely not. Every organization faces different and unique challenges in engaging employees. And sometimes, an organization may not be able to do what it takes to have the most engaged employees because of cost, time, or industry.
In my experiences, employees appreciate frank and open communications from their organization. If you are not going to be able to provide a holiday bonus for employees, at least let employees know so there are no Clark Griswold “jelly of the month” surprises. And when delivering the “news” make sure it is through the most appropriate medium. Emails are quick and easy, but not always the best way to tell employees of big changes.
How can organizations communicate best to employees?