Yet another study from a big HR consulting firm came out this week. This one, from Watson Wyatt, demonstrates unequivocally that employee communications matter -- that doing it right is a measurable competitive advantage. The firm's annual Communication ROI Study outlines the six communication "secrets" of top employers in the U.S. (My favorite "secret": "Leveraging the talents of internal communicators to manage change effectively.")
A few weeks ago it was a global employee engagement study from Towers Perrin that revealed employee engagement is at an all-time low.
As self-serving as these studies are, I think they're great. Each one seems to hone in a little closer on a fundamental truth in business today: that connecting with employees is worth the trouble.
As I have said in this space before: well, duh. And yet. And yet so many organizations are losing the battle as they struggle to improve their broken relationships with their people. Part of the answer (as the self-serving news releases from the big consulting firms would like us to believe) is for companies to open up their pocketbooks and hire the good folks at WW and TP to develop and help implement big internal engagement programs. Part of it is for CEOs to wake up and take a hard look at whether they're paying enough attention to this critical part of their leadership responsibilities.
And part of the answer is in the hands of internal communicators. We need to stand up on our chairs and speak up about what really matters to us and to the organizations we serve. And, as we're wobbling and clearing our throat, having those self-serving studies in our back pocket ain't a bad thing.