Today, truly engaging employees—earning their trust, enabling their best work and inspiring their loyalty—is no longer a luxury, it's a business imperative. A robust employee communication capability is at the heart of engagement. As professionals, we know the business value of effective employee communication. Now, with the ROI Communication Benchmark, we have the data to back it up.
Based on data submitted by nearly 100 companies across a variety of industries, the 2013 ROI Communication Benchmark Report shows that a robust, effective employee communication function leads to better financial performance. How well are you reaching your employees?
The ROI Communication Model™ is a strategic planning and management framework that helps organizations improve the performance of their employee communication functions. It measures three core areas critical to effective employee communications:
Leader and Manager Communication
An organization with a strong leader and manager communication is one in which all leaders and managers recognize that robust communication is one of their core responsibilities. They have the skills, training, tools and incentives they need to communicate effectively with employees, and to engage and align them with the business goals. Employees consider leaders and managers to be reliable and credible sources of information, and receive both the general business context and specific work information they need to excel at their jobs. Leaders and managers solicit and welcome employee input, ideas, perspectives and feedback—even when critical—and act on feedback as appropriate. Leaders and managers are measured for their communication performance, and their effectiveness in communicating is factored into decisions about rewards and recognition.
A communication function with a healthy infrastructure has robust processes in place that enable leaders, managers and employees to communicate effectively throughout the organization. A strong communication function has sufficient staff and budget, and operates with defined roles and responsibilities. The function should serve as a strategic partner and advisor to the organization's management team, and be actively involved in all aspects of strategy, messaging and communication with employees.Finally, a robust communication function must establish and track metrics to ensure all communication activities—from executive messages to the use of internal social business tools—support the organization's strategy effectively.
Open Communication Culture
An open communication culture is a working environment in which employees feel safe and confident about being open and honest, and in which they're encouraged to contribute ideas at every level of the organization. Management trusts employees with the specific information and general business context they need to excel at their work—and earns the trust of employees in return. The communication team ensures all internal messages are accurate, aligned, timely and credible, and that they are coordinated as appropriate with external messaging and media coverage. Communication flows freely and employees collaborate readily throughout the organization, no matter what their role. Employees are actively engaged in their work, confident in the direction of the company, and proud to work for the organization.