United Kingdom

Poor communications put employees under unnecessary stress

June 2018

Poor workplace communication creates a confused and anxious workforce who are unsure how to do their own jobs, a US-based survey has found.

A significant number of the 1,072 American employees who took part in the survey by Dynamic Signal said mismanaged workplace communication contributed to feelings of stress, anxiety and confusion around their roles. Of the 311 of the respondents who worked as corporate communication professionals, 56% said they struggled to keep employees engaged and in the loop.

In particular, 53 per cent of all respondents said they felt unable to keep up with the different communication platforms used by their employer and felt ‘overwhelmed’. 50 per cent said they experienced ‘unnecessary stress’; most of the 311 corporate communicators included in the survey think that employees are worried about missing important information due to ‘noisy’ communication tools.

The survey, which was reported in Asia-based Human Resources Online, also revealed that one third of employee respondents wanted to quit their jobs due to poor communication methods.

66% of staff waste too much time looking for important company information and more than half (52%) of the 108 respondents at senior management level conceded that “ineffective communication and workforce misalignment had negative financial implications for their organisations”.

Dynamic Signal CEO and co-founder, Russ Fradin, said: “Pushing out or even just facilitating mass amounts of untargeted, and often irrelevant, communication across a number of channels with no measurement or tracking is adding noise, not value.

“Every employee has a job to do. It’s critical that those employees receive only the information they need, in a way that is most convenient for how they work.”

Sarah Robson, senior communications consultant at Aon said: “Companies need to make their workplace benefits communications work for them. It’s not an easy ‘send them an email’ solution anymore. If the communications are not right for their people, it’s not engaging. By focusing on treating your employees as people in your firm, you can ensure you are connecting with them in a more engaging way.”

Aon’s Benefits Engagement Guide provides tips for employers to increase staff engagement with workplace benefits including listening to staff about what they want, ensure the benefits platform stands out from the employer brand and investing in good communication methods.

Robson said that a trend seems to be emerging in putting the employee first. She said: “This includes face-to-face benefits fairs, video content, recorded webinars and even allowing them to select the messages that are appropriate to them. These cut through the noise and allow employees to digest information away from their PC or at their leisure, very quickly and that is relevant for them. For example a one minute video can get across a lot of information and can be viewed on the go.”


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