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Investors would be wise to look at how well an organization handles employee communications during times of change as a key indicator for success, according to the research findings of Canadian employees.
Via the Canadian Management Centre
--Timely, honest and open internal communications a predictor of success--
Investors would be wise to look at how well an organization handles employee communications during times of change as a key indicator for success, according to the research findings of Canadian employees. According to the "Build a Better Workplace™ Research Report", a national survey conducted by Canadian Management Centre and Ipsos Reid, communication handled poorly affects employee engagement, retention of high performers, creativity and innovation - ultimately taking a heavy toll on the bottom line.
The impact of poor employee communications Among the key findings, the research shows that less than half, or only 42 per cent of Canadian employees, agree that change is communicated well in their workplace. Of the majority of Canadian employees who don't feel change is communicated well (58 per cent), only 17 per cent support the direction the organization is going during times of change and only 26 per cent would recommend the organization to others. This is in stark contrast with those employees who say change is communicated well in their workplace: 79 per cent support the direction the organization is going in and 86 per cent will recommend the employer, helping to attract top talent in today's competitive business environment. When the communication of major workplace initiatives is conducted in a timely manner, job satisfaction jumps dramatically to 88 per cent, from an average of 68 per cent. However, when internal communications is not perceived as timely by employees, their job satisfaction drops to 45 per cent.
"These numbers clearly show the effect that both good and bad internal communication during times of change can have on organizational results. Leadership, both executive and front-line, is the single most important factor impacting employee engagement, especially during organizational transition," said John Wright, president and managing director, Canadian Management Centre. "Therefore, it's imperative that organizational leaders understand how to adapt their approach to align, involve and satisfy their employees to not only manage the scope of the change, but to have a positive impact on engagement and performance."
Gen Xers: more critical and sceptical Among the generations, Gen X is the most critical demographic segment to judge how well managers handle rumours and messaging: 41 per cent say they do a poor job, as compared to the Canadian average of 34 per cent. They also have a lower opinion of how well managers involve employees in solving business problems: 51 per cent compared to the average of 55 per cent. Interestingly, Millennials are the most satisfied with how their managers encourage new ideas and promote a culture of creativity and innovation, at 61 per cent, above the Canadian average of 58 per cent.
According to Mr. Wright, leaders today are faced with an increased urgency to deal with change brought on by economic instability, demographic shifts in the workforce, evolving customer demands and a heightened focus on innovation. These factors are all in turn driving organizations to be more agile, with a recognition that building an engaged workforce relies heavily on leadership behaviour and communication.
What business leaders need to do? Based on these findings, Mr. Wright says the top three suggestions for leaders during times of change are to:
"Engaging employees will guarantee success in implementing change. But doing it early will increase employee readiness to embrace it," said Mr. Wright.
About the Build a Better Workplace Survey The Build a Better Workplace™ survey was completed by 1,200 Canadian employees from Millennials to Traditionalists across 15 diverse sectors -- including banking, health and social work and government. In addition, almost 500 human resources professionals were surveyed as part of the research to compare findings. Questions explored employee perceptions of their work environment, their relationship with their boss, whether social media has impacted how companies need to communicate, and how well leaders inspire innovation and creativity.
"The Build a Better Workplace Report highlights why employee engagement is much more than a 'job satisfaction' survey. This report provides organizations with a model of engagement that is empirically based. It shows the importance of clear, simple communication in the workplace and how it impacts employee perception of organizational change," said Trevor Clarke, vice president, Ipsos Reid.
Canadian Management Centre is hosting a series of sessions across Canada to share the survey's key findings with senior business leaders, human resources, organizational development and talent management professionals. The National Thought Leader Series takes place in Montreal, Ottawa, Toronto and Calgary, this May.
Methodology The survey was conducted between July 31 and August 17, 2012, and a sample of 1,200 Canadians from Ipsos' Canadian online panel was interviewed online, in addition to nearly 500 human resource professionals. If the average Canadian sample had been probabilistic, a sample of this size results would be considered accurate to within ±2.8 percentage points at the 95 per cent confidence interval. Similarly, results for the smaller Human Resources sample would be considered accurate to within ±4.4 percentage points at the same 95 per cent confidence interval.
About Ipsos Reid Ipsos is one of the world's leading survey-based marketing research firms with offices in 84 countries. Since 1975 Ipsos has been delivering insightful expertise across six research specializations: advertising, customer loyalty, marketing, media, public affairs research, and survey management. Over the past decade Ipsos has helped organizations align loyalty and engagement with feedback from employees and consumers. Ipsos research clearly shows that best performing organizations are characterized by strategic and cultural alignment: staff efforts and willingness to 'go the extra mile' are oriented in the same direction, which contributes to the achievement of corporate goals.
Ipsos helps organizations improve employee commitment to your vision, mission, and strategy while measuring staff expectations because in high-performance environments, expectations are taken into consideration and acted upon. To learn more, please visit www.ipsos.ca.
MEDIA INQUIRIES: To RSVP for the National Thought Leaders Series events, schedule an interview or for additional information, please contact Susan Willemsen, Anita Boudreau or Alexandra Muszynski-Kwan at The Siren Group Inc. Tel: (416) 461-5270. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
KEEPING EMPLOYEES ENGAGED IN TIMES OF CHANGE
SOURCE: Canadian Management Centre
Established in 1963, Canadian Management Centre is Canada's leading premier talent transformation company, helping organizations and leaders outperform in the workplace by delivering real-life, award- winning corporate learning and professional development solutions. Training takes place right across Canada including Vancouver, Calgary, Edmonton, Regina, Winnipeg, Mississauga, Toronto, Montreal and Halifax. Its annual National Thought Leader Series brings value-added ideas with insightful and innovative sessions on employee engagement delivered by subject matter experts. Canadian Management Centre is a strategic affiliate of the American Management Association International - a world leader in professional development advancing the skills of individuals to drive business success. Follow on Twitter: @CanadianMgmt #CMCevents or call 1-877-262-2500 for general inquiries.