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Effective communication leads to greater staff engagement and better company reputation

A recent Harris Poll that examines the relationship between effective employee communication and perception of employer reputation finds companies that truly connect with their workers may have found themselves a secret ingredient after all.

As a whole, American workers rate their employers’ reputations favorably, with more than two-thirds of employed Americans rating their employer’s reputation as good (67%). One-quarter feel their company has a neutral reputation (25%) and just 2% see their employers as having a bad reputation.

More good news for U.S. employers comes in the form of seven in 10 (69%) working Americans feeling the best years are ahead for their company. Not surprisingly, those who view their company as having a good reputation are more likely than those assigning a neutral reputation to believe the best years are ahead (76% vs. 54%, respectively).

The engagement effect

The Harris Poll finds engaged employees more likely to both say their company has a good reputation and that their company’s best years are yet to come.

  • Effective communication: Those who feel their company effectively communicates information of value to employees are more than twice as likely as those who don’t to rate their company’s reputation as good (76% vs. 36%, respectively). Similarly, employees of effective communicators are more likely to believe the best years are ahead for their employer (75% vs. 47%, respectively).
  • Familiarity with goals and objectives: Good reputation (71% among those who are familiar with the company’s goals and objectives vs. 39% among those who aren’t); Best years are yet to come (71% vs. 49%, respectively).
  • Understanding personal contribution: Good reputation (70% among those who understand how their role contributes to the company vs. 44% of those who don’t); Best years are yet to come (72% vs. 42%, respectively).
  • Familiarity with company performance: Good reputation (72% among those who are familiar with their company’s performance vs. 47% among those who aren’t); Best years are yet to come (73% vs. 52%, respectively).

“The reputational impact of effective internal communications is clear,” says Carol Gstalder, SVP, Reputation Management & Public Relations Practice for Harris Poll, “and the role of managers is vital.”

Employees look first to their manager to obtain the information they need to do their jobs. Effective managers share important company information in ways that resonate with their staff, motivating them to achieve company goals. 

Today, only one-third (33%) of managers strongly agree they are a primary communicator to employees and 47% strongly agree they are well trained and prepared to communicate news and information to employees. Given the impact of employee communication on company reputation, ensuring managers are equipped with the skills needed to effectively communicate is an essential ingredient in today’s workplace.

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