On Trust and Engagement

 In Employee Experience

The ROI Communication Benchmark Report™  measures the impact of employee communication at large companies. The bottom line is the actual the bottom line – financial performance definitely correlates with the quality of communication. The 2017 ROI Communication Benchmark Report offers up some new insights for the new year, honing in on the types of employee communication that really impact a company’s financial health and growth. In this post of my series, I’ll continue by talking about a vital issue: creating more trust and engagement.

As I discussed in my previous post on Manager Communication Effectiveness, communication is the name of the game—or, more specifically, the name of the game of improved financial performance. The ROI Communication Benchmark Report has singled out a variety of communication elements that predict measures such as company net income, revenue, total return to investors, and diluted earnings per share.

Another way companies can foster a healthy communications culture is through building trust and engagement — and that’s where I’ll focus for this post.

Trust and Engagement: Strong Pride, Steady Scores

The concept of “trust and engagement” might sound a little broad, but ROI Communication uses that phrase to indicate a few precise elements:

  • How well a company is fostering open communication
  • The creation of a trusting environment, camaraderie, workplace pride
  • And whether or not employees would recommend their company to other job-seekers

Basically, trust and engagement refers to whether or not the employees feel like they exist in an atmosphere of two-way communication, one in which their voices are heard and valued.

It’s not exactly surprising that employee satisfaction leads to increased financial health, but the ROI Communication Benchmark Report has unearthed some surprising findings when it comes to trust and engagement in 2017.

There’s good news and there’s bad news when it comes to workplace pride. The good news? 85% of survey-takers in 2017 agreed with the statement “Employees are proud to work for my company.” The bad news? This represents a slide from 2015, when 88% of survey-takers agreed with that statement.

And while I think we all wish the  results in other aspects of trust and engagement were on the rise, that’s not entirely the case. Only three out of four 2017 respondents reported favorably in terms of overall trust and engagement, representing a fall of 1% from two years ago. The same trend was represented among repeat survey-takers — those who took the survey in 2015 reported 85% overall trust and engagement, compared to 79% in 2017.

So, How Can We Build an Environment of Better Trust and Engagement?

Lucky for us, ROI Communication provides some answers. The report states that two communication categories are shown to have an especially powerful impact on trust and engagement: Communication Messages & Message Quality (in other words, ensuring that messages are accurate, timely and credible) and Senior Leader Communication Effectiveness (welcoming employee input, even when it’s less than complimentary). Together, these categories make up a total of 47% of the predicting factors for fostering the kind of atmosphere that enhances trust and engagement.

Once again, I think that we can look at findings provided by the ROI Communication Benchmark Report as a call to action and a suggestion for improvement, rather than a stern warning.

Remember: there’s no such thing as too much trust and engagement, and, when it comes to enhancing company communications, there’s no way to put in too much effort. So while we should definitely devote more time to improving overall trust and engagement, we can (and should) also focus on increasing already-strong workplace pride.

Make sure to check out our last installment of this series to gain more insight into the single most important communication category when it comes to having an impact on trust and engagement — Communication Messages & Message Quality.

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