Over the past two years we have noticed a significant increase in the number of organisations who are taking an inward look to measure their internal climates. This is nothing new. What is interesting is that in the past, these internal employee engagement / organisational climate surveys were very much a tick box exercise driven by ‘global’, providing interesting yet significantly vague results on what employees were really feeling.

But, with organisations needing to find different and better ways to conduct business during a global pandemic, engaging and listening to employees are taking a priority. Businesses are finding ways to build a more engaged, resilient, and dedicated workforce.

“More and more organisations are seeing the value of interrogating their global results and finding ways to improve locally,” shares Regine le Roux, managing director of Reputation Matters, strategic reputation management specialists.

“We are working with a number of multinationals to help them gain insights locally, to build better relationships with one of their most important stakeholder groups, their employees,” says le Roux.

Three key trends that we’ve picked up:
  • Valuing values: the corner stone of an organisation’s success is laying the foundation of clearly articulated values to drive the business’ success. It helps with decision making, impacts behaviour and ultimately has an impact on an organisation’s culture. “It does not surprise me when an organisation approaches us and shares that their employee morale is very low, which is impacting productivity. To then find out that they don’t have time to think about or articulate their values,” shares le Roux. Core values need to form part of daily conversations and be ingrained in everything that the organisation does. Values have no value if they are purely pretty posters on a wall (which no one sees anyway as everyone is working from home).
  • Compassionate Communication “There has been a general improvement in internal communication across the board, which is not too surprising considering that everyone had to transition and make the best with working from home offices,” says le Roux.  What is important now, is to keep the momentum going and to continue engaging with your teams. Are you providing enough of an ‘ear’ for employees to give you feedback and to raise their concerns? During difficult times, employees want to hear from their leader, make sure that your leader’s voice is still being heard. Never before have companies had to deal with as much loss. Everyone has been impacted by the pandemic, be it losing a loved one, a colleague or having to contend with recovering from, or worrying about getting the virus. Compassionate communication has never been more important. Is grief counselling something that is part of your employee wellbeing programme?
  • X marks the spot When we compare the results of the different generations, we’ve picked up that Generation X, people between the age of 40 to 54, were the least satisfied with their jobs. We saw a lot of movement with Gen Xers starting new ventures and changing careers. “My interpretation of the situation is that during the hard lockdown months, a typical Gen X person, who had probably been in a particular company and position for a number of years had a lot of time on their hands to take stock of where they were career wise. It was a time of much reflection and considering whether they were getting the most out of their current job to meet their life goals.” shares le Roux. Be sure to engage with your employees, understand their headspace, and see how best you can support them through their journey.
To discuss how best to quantify your value or to help you find ways to improve your internal communication contact Reputation Matters: research@reputationmatters.co.za