Communications require rethink to close engagement gap

Matt Macri Waller

Employee Benefits Connect 2016: Employee communications strategies require an overhaul in order to close the communications gap currently impacting employee engagement.

Speaking in a session titled ‘Mind the engagement gap’ at Employee Benefits Connect on 9 March, Matt Macri-Waller, founder and chief executive officer (CEO) at Benefex, said that the relevance of communications was a particular issue.

To overcome this, and close the communications gap, employers should consider issues such as how to make communications resonate with, and appeal to, as many people as possible.

Marci-Waller (pictured) said: “What we fail to do in a lot of instances is really think about the reader and really think about ‘what do I want them to do as a result? What do I want from this two-way conversation?’

“Think about different ways of getting to the same group of people. It’s not just about hammering email and hoping that’s going to get you the outcome you want.”

Employers also need to consider what conversations they wish to have with their workforce, and the frequency of these. He added: “Really think about when you are communicating with them, what is the purpose?”

The gap between an organisation’s CEO and its workforce can also adversely impact employee engagement levels. Macri-Waller explained that CEOs’ objectives typically include opening up a two-way conversation, to build trust in the organisation, to get everyone aligned with where the organisation is going and its goals. He added that they also want employees to feel valued and to be treated as a human in terms of how the organisation interacts with them.

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However, in reality, this often is not the case.

Macri-Waller said: “What we tend to see is the further away you move from the board and the further away you move from the CEO, the less that two-way nature of conversation is really there and engagement declines as a result.”