--Timely, honest and open internal communications a predictor of
TORONTO, May 7, 2013 /CNW/ - Investors would be wise to look at how well
an organization handles employee communications during times of change
as a key indicator for success, according to the research findings of
Canadian employees. According to the "Build a Better Workplace™ Research Report", a national survey conducted by Canadian Management Centre and Ipsos
Reid, communication handled poorly affects employee engagement,
retention of high performers, creativity and innovation - ultimately
taking a heavy toll on the bottom line.
The impact of poor employee communications
Among the key findings, the research shows that less than half, or only
42 per cent of Canadian employees, agree that change is communicated
well in their workplace. Of the majority of Canadian employees who
don't feel change is communicated well (58 per cent), only 17 per cent
support the direction the organization is going during times of change
and only 26 per cent would recommend the organization to others. This
is in stark contrast with those employees who say change is
communicated well in their workplace: 79 per cent support the direction
the organization is going in and 86 per cent will recommend the
employer, helping to attract top talent in today's competitive business
environment. When the communication of major workplace initiatives is
conducted in a timely manner, job satisfaction jumps dramatically to 88
per cent, from an average of 68 per cent. However, when internal
communications is not perceived as timely by employees, their job
satisfaction drops to 45 per cent.
"These numbers clearly show the effect that both good and bad internal
communication during times of change can have on organizational
results. Leadership, both executive and front-line, is the single most
important factor impacting employee engagement, especially during
organizational transition," said John Wright, president and managing
director, Canadian Management Centre. "Therefore, it's imperative that
organizational leaders understand how to adapt their approach to align,
involve and satisfy their employees to not only manage the scope of the
change, but to have a positive impact on engagement and performance."
Gen Xers: more critical and sceptical
Among the generations, Gen X is the most critical demographic segment to
judge how well managers handle rumours and messaging: 41 per cent say
they do a poor job, as compared to the Canadian average of 34 per cent.
They also have a lower opinion of how well managers involve employees
in solving business problems: 51 per cent compared to the average of 55
per cent. Interestingly, Millennials are the most satisfied with how
their managers encourage new ideas and promote a culture of creativity
and innovation, at 61 per cent, above the Canadian average of 58 per
According to Mr. Wright, leaders today are faced with an increased
urgency to deal with change brought on by economic instability,
demographic shifts in the workforce, evolving customer demands and a
heightened focus on innovation. These factors are all in turn driving
organizations to be more agile, with a recognition that building an
engaged workforce relies heavily on leadership behaviour and
What business leaders need to do?
Based on these findings, Mr. Wright says the top three suggestions for
leaders during times of change are to:
Get in front of it. Effective change leadership is about being proactive. Leaders need to
anticipate employee response(s) to the change and consider what (if
any) resistance they may face. From there, leaders can proactively
plan strategies to build commitment and buy-in for the change, while
maintaining employee engagement.
Help employees understand. Naturally, when change occurs, an employee is going to be asking 'how
is this going to impact me?' It is the role of the leader to help
employees understand the 'what' and 'why' of change. Leaders need to
align on key messages to keep employees informed of what (exactly) is
changing, why it's important and/or necessary to the business, and what
the impact will be on them.
Encourage employee involvement. While we need to answer the 'what' and 'why' of the change, it is
important to encourage input from employees on the 'how'. People want
to be asked to provide feedback and they want their ideas to be
considered. Involvement is a key component of employee engagement.
When it comes to change, involving employees early in the process can
reduce anxiety, will help facilitate their understanding of the change
(so they buy-in faster), and can often lead to new and creative ideas
for how to achieve desired results.
"Engaging employees will guarantee success in implementing change. But
doing it early will increase employee readiness to embrace it," said
About the Build a Better Workplace Survey
The Build a Better Workplace™ survey was completed by 1,200 Canadian
employees from Millennials to Traditionalists across 15 diverse sectors
-- including banking, health and social work and government. In
addition, almost 500 human resources professionals were surveyed as
part of the research to compare findings. Questions explored employee
perceptions of their work environment, their relationship with their
boss, whether social media has impacted how companies need to
communicate, and how well leaders inspire innovation and creativity.
"The Build a Better Workplace Report highlights why employee engagement
is much more than a 'job satisfaction' survey. This report provides
organizations with a model of engagement that is empirically based. It
shows the importance of clear, simple communication in the workplace
and how it impacts employee perception of organizational change," said
Trevor Clarke, vice president, Ipsos Reid.
Canadian Management Centre is hosting a series of sessions across Canada
to share the survey's key findings with senior business leaders, human
resources, organizational development and talent management
professionals. The National Thought Leader Series takes place in
Montreal, Ottawa, Toronto and Calgary, this May.
The survey was conducted between July 31 and August 17, 2012, and a
sample of 1,200 Canadians from Ipsos' Canadian online panel was
interviewed online, in addition to nearly 500 human resource
professionals. If the average Canadian sample had been probabilistic, a
sample of this size results would be considered accurate to within ±2.8
percentage points at the 95 per cent confidence interval. Similarly,
results for the smaller Human Resources sample would be considered
accurate to within ±4.4 percentage points at the same 95 per cent
About Ipsos Reid
Ipsos is one of the world's leading survey-based marketing research
firms with offices in 84 countries. Since 1975 Ipsos has been
delivering insightful expertise across six research specializations:
advertising, customer loyalty, marketing, media, public affairs
research, and survey management. Over the past decade Ipsos has helped
organizations align loyalty and engagement with feedback from employees
and consumers. Ipsos research clearly shows that best performing
organizations are characterized by strategic and cultural alignment:
staff efforts and willingness to 'go the extra mile' are oriented in
the same direction, which contributes to the achievement of corporate
Ipsos helps organizations improve employee commitment to your vision,
mission, and strategy while measuring staff expectations because in
high-performance environments, expectations are taken into
consideration and acted upon. To learn more, please visit www.ipsos.ca.
About Canadian Management Centre
Established in 1963, Canadian Management Centre is Canada's leading
premier talent transformation company, helping organizations and
leaders outperform in the workplace by delivering real-life, award-
winning corporate learning and professional development solutions.
Training takes place right across Canada including Vancouver, Calgary,
Edmonton, Regina, Winnipeg, Mississauga, Toronto, Montreal and Halifax.
Its annual National Thought Leader Series brings value-added ideas with
insightful and innovative sessions on employee engagement delivered by
subject matter experts. Canadian Management Centre is a strategic
affiliate of the American Management Association International - a
world leader in professional development advancing the skills of
individuals to drive business success. To register or for more
information about the "Build a Better Workplace Research Report",
visit: http://www.cmcoutperform.com/keeping-your-employees-engaged-event. Follow on Twitter: @CanadianMgmt #CMCevents or call 1-877-262-2500 for general inquiries.
MEDIA INQUIRIES: To RSVP for the National Thought Leaders Series events, schedule an
interview or for additional information, please contact Susan
Willemsen, Anita Boudreau or Alexandra Muszynski-Kwan at The Siren
Group Inc. Tel: (416) 461-5270. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
KEEPING EMPLOYEES ENGAGED IN TIMES OF CHANGE
How are companies doing when it comes to communicating change?
Less than half of Canadian employees agree (42 per cent) that change is
communicated well within their workplace.
When employees feel that change is communicated well they are more
likely to support the direction the workplace is heading (79 per cent)
and are also likely to recommend the organization to others as a good
place to work. However when employees do not feel that change is
communicated well, advocacy suffers with fewer recommending the
organization and a clear reluctance to support the direction of the
organization (17 per cent).
Change is communicated well (Agree 42 per cent, Neutral 27 per cent,
Disagree 30 per cent).
Among those who Agree (42 per cent), 79 per cent Support the direction
of the workplace is heading and 86 per cent would recommend the
Among those who Disagree (30 per cent), 17 per cent Support the
direction of the workplace is heading and 26 per cent would recommend
How well are organizations doing at managing the message?
With respect to workplace changes, 35 per cent of Canadian employees
feel that senior leaders do a good job managing misinformation
(rumours, gossip, etc.).
With respect to workplace changes, 34 per cent of Canadian employees
feel that senior leaders are not doing good job managing misinformation
(rumours, gossip, etc.).
Gen Xers are the most likely at 41 per cent to believe that senior
leaders do a poor job of managing misinformation.
Smaller organizations do a better job with 40 per cent of employees
agreeing that senior leaders do a good job of managing misinformation.
Very large organization (those with more than 1,000 employees) are less
effective when it comes to managing communications with just 31 per
cent of employees agreeing that misinformation is handled well.
What is the impact on employee satisfaction in the workplace during
times of change?
68 per cent of Canadian employees report that they are satisfied with
their job. When communication of major workplace initiatives is
perceived as timely, job satisfaction increases to 88 per cent, whereas
among those who do not perceive such communications as being timely,
their job satisfaction decreases to 45 per cent.
How are managers doing when it comes to keeping employees informed? And
what is the impact on productivity?
Six in ten Canadian employees feel that their manager (the person they
report to) does a good job keeping them informed about the things they
need to know.
Among those who feel that their manager keeps them informed (60 per
cent) we find that they are more motivated to excel (81 per cent vs. 68
per cent on average) and more likely to feel that their team does a
good job fulfilling commitments (83 per cent vs. 72 per cent on
Among those who do not feel that their manager keeps them informed we
find that they are less motivated to excel (44 per cent vs. 68 per cent
on average) and more likely to feel that their team is not fulfilling
commitments (56 per cent vs. 72 per cent on average).
How well are our Canadian managers performing in inspiring creativity
and innovation in the workplace?
79 per cent of Canadian employees say that they are contributing 'above
and beyond' their job description to help their workplace succeed,
which would indicate a desire to make a difference in the workplace.
Are our managers tapping into their employees' creative abilities and
using their ideas to make improvements/progress in the workplace?
Only 55 per cent of Canadian employees feel that their manager is
willing to try new ways of doing business.
Gen X is least likely to agree at 51 per cent and could feel that
recommendations are not being adopted. This is least true in very
large organizations (51 per cent agree compared to 62 per cent in large
and 60 per cent in medium-sized organizations).
Only 58 per cent of Canadian employees feel that their manager
encourages new ideas. Traditionalists are least likely to agree at 51
per cent and Gen Y most likely to agree at 61 per cent.
How well are our Canadian organizations doing in retaining their best
Only 37 per cent of Canadian employees agree that their workplace is
good at retaining the best staff. That presents a big risk during times of change and Canadian organizations stand to lose
a lot of knowledge and expertise with employee departures. Competitors
can lure top talent away and stand to gain in this environment.
An engaged workforce can have a strong positive impact in creating
customer loyalty which can result in increased revenue and
profitability as well as improved shareholder value.
This service-value-profit chain concept connects the relationship
between an enabled an engaged workforce to improvements in innovation,
productivity, quality and enhanced service which leads to increased
customer loyalty resulting in increased revenue and profitability for
The following data underscores that there's room for improvement in
developing the SVPC in order to reap the rewards of the resulting
increase in customer loyalty.
Do Canadian employees have the necessary information and authority to
address customer concerns to enable them to effectively do their job
and respond to their customers' needs?
Only 57 per cent of Canadian employees feel that they are empowered to
do what is needed to satisfy their customers.
Only 54 per cent of Canadian employees agree that organizational
messages to customers are clear.
Only 53 per cent of Canadian employees feel that their company provides
them with the information they need to answer customer concerns.
SOURCE: Canadian Management Centre
For further information:
MEDIA INQUIRIES: For additional information or to schedule an interview, please contact Susan Willemsen, Anita Boudreau or Alexandra Muszynski-Kwan at The Siren Group Inc. Tel: (416) 461-5270. Email: email@example.com.