Think back to before the Pandemic started (I know, it seems like last year) but go with me. Were your employees engaged? Did they truly participate in the firm? Did they understand the firm goals and strategies? Did they care? Now think about those same employees today. Are you at the same level of employee engagement? Better? Worse? Businesses that suffer from weak employee engagement often have poor internal communication strategies as well.
The strains of 2020 have made employee engagement a critical success factor that will separate firm’s to prosper from those that fail. That’s why many leaders are focusing more on keeping employees in the loop and ensuring that they see the connection between their role and the overall goals of the organization. Strong employee engagement is essential to long term success and improves both quality of work and employee health.
Here are some ways that architecture leaders can sharpen communication to improve employee engagement.
Focus on Quality of Information
Since some firms have employees who span four or even five different generations, it’s important to keep in mind that people absorb information differently based on their attention spans. When you have a lot of significant updates and information to share it’s easy to send out text-laden emails, but not every employee has enough free time to read them. Instead, you should focus on using a combination delivery methods to relay information that is concise and easy to consume. For instance, videos and newsletters are efficient tools that can be used to share important updates and keep employees engaged. Sticking to the essentials and using bulleted lists is helpful to keep from overwhelming your team with unnecessary information.
Face-to-Face Communication is Best (I know, I know)
Even though many architecture consulting services transformed into remote working environments during the pandemic, leaders should still prioritize face-to-face communication when possible, and yes a Zoom call does qualify. One drawback of email is that information can easily be misinterpreted when it’s read, but if you are able to share it live through a video call, you can confirm that everybody understands. Consider promoting an open-door policy so employees feel comfortable visiting your office with concerns. Or, schedule Q&A sessions where employees can bring questions.
Encourage Two-Way Communication
Information shouldn’t flow only from the top of the organization down to every level. If the only communication that employees receive from their leadership is always filled with orders, they less likely to feel that their work matters. It’s important to solicit feedback from all organizational levels to promote trust and a positive work culture.
Quality of communication, not quantity, is the key to improving employee engagement. Instead of bogging down your workforce with endless emails, replace them with regular, short updates to keep their attention. A good starting point is ensuring that new hires clearly know their roles and how they are connected to the company’s mission. Then, leaders can move on to developing an internal communication strategy where employees feel comfortable sharing concerns, questions, etc.
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