The sharing block: how restricting employees from sharing ideas is holding back business  

16 May 2017:

Communication and collaboration have become much-used terms in the business world, highlighting the importance of interaction between colleagues and those outside of the business, including customers, partners and suppliers.

But new research strongly suggests that employee collaboration and engagement with the rest of the business is severely lacking. Although technology has created numerous ways to communicate, current employee engagement strategies are woefully inadequate and employees feel disconnected from the rest of the business.
The employee and business disconnect

The problem is that today’s CEOs and MDs are relying far too much on one-to-many, broadcast-style communication with employees, highlighted in a new Totem report, based on a survey of 1,000 employees in UK organisations of more than 500 people.

The majority of senior management (61%) uses all-company emails to disseminate news and updates, compared to only 31% of who use in-person company meetings. The result is that employees feel disconnected from the leadership team and the purpose of the business, and this is directly affecting motivation and job satisfaction levels.

While a large number of workers receive updates on company initiatives, high-level business news and even redundancies or profit losses, they are much less aware of the work of other colleagues.

Yet employees want to be part of wider conversations, actively contribute to the businesses they work for and engage in two-way conversations that see everyone actively sharing ideas and inspiring others.

The sharing block

Today’s employees want to share ideas and interact more with colleagues at every level and believe they can make a valuable contribution. Around a quarter (23%) of UK workers think they have a lot to offer to their employers in terms of new ideas and input into ways of working, yet only 14% of employees feel comfortable enough to approach their MD/CEO directly to discuss ideas.

A key issue is that businesses are restricting employee sharing of ideas and opinions to formal channels, at times the organisation enforces. The number one way that UK businesses currently allow ideas sharing is through formal appraisals (87%), followed by annual employee surveys (81%) and company meetings (71%).

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Source: HR zone

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