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US – The lack of effective communication between senior management and their workforce has resulted in employees feeling uncomfortable in sharing their ideas on innovation with bosses.
According to the first Workplace Communications Impact Survey of 1,168 employees by Yammer, companies still have a long way to go in improving their internal communication and collaboration programmes. Only 8% of respondents said their company is extremely effective at sharing business goals, timelines and plans internally.
A majority added that they felt uncomfortable sharing ideas or feedback with their managers or senior-ranking executives. Yet three in five employees were comfortable sharing ideas and feedback with their peers or colleagues.
Worryingly, respondents preferred using emails (74%) and phone (61%) to communicate with their bosses even though it was difficult to work effectively with these methods. Only 31% will schedule face-to-face meetings and 53% will engage in unplanned conversations.
Slightly more than a third said the lack of communication has a significant impact on their work productivity as they do not feel valued by their employer. Three in 10 felt they do not have all the information needed to do their jobs well while long, ineffective meetings are another drain on productivity for 22%.
Furthermore, close to a fifth said their companies are poor at recognising and rewarding employees who come up with ideas on improving the organisation. Only 8% felt their suggestions for innovation were being recognised.
The lack of connection between bosses and their teams may result in the differences in the level of respect respondents have for the people they work with. More than half said they respect their co-workers while only 39% respect their managers. Respondents also deemed their peers (29%) as better mentors than their bosses (19%).
“It is clear that fostering a sense of community among co-workers is key to success,” David Sacks, CEO of business social networking tool Yammer, said. “But even more so is providing managers a chance to interact with their employees on a daily basis and build more of an open, authentic connection.”