To foster a culture where employee engagement thrives it is important to have a common understanding of what engagement really looks like, sounds like and feels like.  When I am working with a new corporate client I do my best to soak up the atmosphere determine whether or not I see employees who

Talk About – employees who openly talk about and share their company pride with others.

Stay With – employees who stay with your organization and are loyal

Strive For – employees who commit to striving to help the company reach its goals.

For me, those are good indicators that engagement is alive and well within the company.  Communication is one of the keys to creating the kind of culture that drives engagement.  In a recent article by Alan Crozier in Communication World he points out the key principles that communicators should remember when they are working to drive engagement:

  1. It is impossible not to communicate – even silence says something.
  2. Communication depends on the recipient – they will let you know if you are being effective.
  3. The more complex the issue, the greater need for communication to be informal, frequent and interpersonal.
  4. Observed behaviors are the most powerful and reinforcing elements in underpinning expectations and resultant actions in the workforce.
  5. Employee tolerate management’s logic; but act on their own conclusions.

In other words, everything speaks.  Good communication is an important element for engagement, however, getting people to talk about, stay with and strive for their organization is more complex.  At the core, engagement entails the alignment of policies, procedures and practices with the overarching values, goals and objectives of the company.  Communication certainly complements those efforts and there is much more.  The journey to get there is well worth it.