5 things all employees want from corporate communications

If your department doesn’t pass this 5-point checklist, don’t be surprised if morale is low.

I’ve worked in employee communications, both on the inside and as an independent consultant for Fortune 500 companies, for 23 years. Throughout that time, I’ve done my share of employee surveys and communication audits, so I have a pretty good idea by now of what employees want when it comes to communications from their employers.

It’s interesting how the same issues come up now that came up 10, 15, even 20 years ago. Truly, the more things change, the more they stay the same.

Here are five things employees want from their companies’ communications, gleaned from the surveys and audits I’ve done as well as from simply talking with people in offices, manufacturing floors, call centers and elsewhere:

1. Employees want to be treated like adults. This is perhaps the most consistent theme, but one that is largely ignored by business leaders. Employees are not naive, not easily swayed by trinket giveaways and audience-participation games, and they are able to think for themselves. Business leaders sometimes complain that employees behave as childen, but perhaps that’s because they’re often treated that way. Deliver truthful information with honest analysis and a clear call to action and see what most employees do with it.

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