4.2 Communication during times of change
Employee voice and communication is considered a vital feature of cultivating employee engagement. Employers need to ensure that they offer meaningful opportunities for engagement – communication between senior managers and frontline employees are important for giving employees a sense of voice. Opportunities for engagement need to be in the category of meaningful communication between leaders and employees, with opportunities to ask questions, raise concerns and offer suggestions (Dromey, 2014).
To be most effective in terms of ‘voice’ as an enabler, employers need to ensure that they engage employees in a genuine way which promotes dialogue and involvement rather than simply one-way communication. The increasing use of email as a means of communication with employees in this context is a concern as it offers very limited opportunities for genuine interaction (Dromey, 2014).
Employees who perceive themselves to have opportunities to effectively communicate their concerns to management are likely to elicit more positive attitudes and higher levels of performance. If employees perceive their work environment to be one in which they can share their opinions, ideas and concerns, they will in turn be more likely to demonstrate higher levels of engagement (Rees et al., 2013).
Communication and voice are an essential component of maintaining employee engagement in a change programme (Elving, 2005).