As is often said, you can’t manage what you don’t measure. In this our 8th article on the ROI of Internal Communication, we look at the ability to predict future performance of the company as a function of both the information delivered by an internal communication solution and the high levels of employee engagement such a system produces.
Disengaged employees are very secretive folk. When you consider the usual root causes of an employee being disengaged — no sense of belonging and disempowered from doing great work — it’s easy to understand. If an employee does not feel like he or she is part of the Big Team, it’s easy to see how a continual slide into despondency and disengagement is a natural progression.
If you run an organization with hundreds of employees, you can’t expect to find every piece of information you need for every decision on your own. You must rely on trusted employees to keep you abreast of what’s going on in their area of responsibility. In order to “scale up” your management of the organization, you delegate decision making to lower levels, and keep your communication at an ever-higher level as the organization grows. Some of that communication is by word-of-mouth, and some of it is automated. Without an internal communication solution, your company will rely more on the word-of-mouth method, and that is where you will reply heavily on trust and openness — if there is any — to establish a firm grip on the facts. Having a full set of facts in crystal clarity will allow you to extrapolate what is likely to happen next.
Compare that to an organization filled with disengaged employees. Information has to be tortured out of employees, and when you do learn something, you’re not sure it can be trusted.
An employee communications solution takes all the drama and risk out of communication. More than just the information system itself, fully engaged employees want the organization to succeed. Because they are empowered, they feel responsible for the outcome. And because they belong, they know that any failure rests also on their shoulders.
An internal communication system, properly implemented, provides to the management team the regular, reliable updates from the front lines. Information can be trusted, because everyone has skin in the proverbial game.