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Phase II – The Communication Strategy: Yes, you need to have one!

When employees do not understand what the employer is doing, there will be a disconnect and lack of engagement and support for the initiative.  Prior to the launch of any engagement survey leadership should disseminate a communication that outlines the initiative.  The communication should include background information tied into the mission, vision, and goals of the company.

Next, the communication should highlight transparency in the initiative, explaining clearly how the survey will be distributed, how data will be collected and summarized, how employee anonymity will be protected, and how the data will be shared with the workforce.  This communication needs to outline the goal of the data collection, and outline what the employer plans to do with the data once it is analyzed.  In other words, clearly define how the data will be examined to create a strategic plan to address areas identified as concerns.  If you plan to be inclusive in addressing these concerns with members of the workforce, share that valuable information, such as focus groups or a project team to identify solutions.

Include a timeline and set realistic expectations on when the employee can expect to hear progress updates and status on execution and results of action plans.  Failing to embed a strong communication strategy aligned with the engagement initiative can expand the engagement gap with the workforce and diminish any trust or relationship leadership has with the workforce.