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Communication: The Key to Building Engagement


How can you build employee engagement in your organization?

“Five Keys to Effective Workplace Communication”, a LinkedIn article by Pramila Mathew, does a wonderful job at giving leaders and influencers a framework to think about how to become a powerful communicator.

In the article, Mathew discusses five traits that made Martin Luther King such a fantastic communicator:

  • Conviction
  • Symbolism and Metaphor
  • Intentional repetition
  • Passion (requires no script!)
  • Relevance

“Giving key influential people within the industry the tools to be great communicators is a non-negotiable for organizations that strive to be at the zenith.”

Communication is a critical skill for leaders who want to engage their employees. While you may not be making such grand speeches as Martin Luther King, you want to speak in a way that connects with and engages your employees.

However, before people want to hear you and have you convince them, there’s another skill you must master: the key skill of listening. 

Workplace engagementFirst, Learn to Listen

In a previous blog about Legitimate Authority, I referenced Malcolm Gladwell’s summary of the key requirements in order to have truly legitimate authority as a leader:

“First of all, the people who are asked to obey authority have to feel like they have a voice – that if they speak up, they will be heard. Second, the law has to be predictable. There has to be a reasonable expectation that the rules tomorrow are going to be roughly the same as the rules today. And third, the authority has to be fair. It can’t treat one group differently from another.”

  • David and Goliath by Malcolm Gladwell

Thinking about this in the context of how effective you are at communicating brings us to the age old advice: You have two ears and one mouth. Use them in that proportion.

To truly become an effective communicator and influencer, you must practice intentional listening. Doing this will give voice to your employees and enhance your legitimate authority. 

Want to engage people? Don’t forget that one of the most common items ranked at the bottom of our surveys is: “I am asked for my input on decisions that will impact my job”. People want a voice. People want to be treated fairly and people want a boss who is consistent day to day.

>> Want to know more about what you need in your workplace?  Contact us to talk about conducting an employee engagement survey. Remember: you can’t manage what you don’t measure. 

Get started engaging employees right now with my FREE cheatsheet: Improving Employee Engagement in Just 10 Minutes.

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Written by Dwight Lacey

Dwight Lacey

Dwight is the President at Workplace Engagement Insights. He leads Workplace Engagement Insights with a clear understanding of the latest employee engagement research, survey best practices, and leadership styles that create successful businesses.

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