Vollrath Associates


Vollrath Associates

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Three avenues toward engaged, internal success

May 28, 2014

The workplace is changing. Today, employees and employers alike breed an environment centered on relationships. Because of this shift in development, the term “employee engagement” surfaced as an organizational buzzword. Employees expect to be talked with, not talked at, and when employees are satisfied, the bottom line smiles too. 


Employee engagement, the intimidating six syllable phrase, can be simplified to a combo with slightly more syllables – internal communication. It’s easy to push internal communication aside. Sales, social media, customer calls all require us to excel externally, but successful organizations must build a strong foundation internally to experience external success.


With an established “why” for the C-suite, we can move on to the question of how do we improve our internal communication to increase employee engagement? Follow these three avenues to pave your way to engaged, internal success.


1. Establish positive relationships between employees and their direct supervisors.

Not all managers are great communicators. Spend time developing positive communication styles with your managers so they are equipped for relationship building with their employees. Emphasize one-on-one communication and showing interest in employees’ personal and professional development.


 2. Connect employees with organizational values.

Accentuating an organization’s mission rallies your employees around common values. Take time to make sure that employees understand the connection between what they do and how that contributes to the broader purpose of the organization. We all want to make a difference, so make sure your employees recognize how they’re making one.


 3. Create two-way communication channels.

Employees that are given opportunities to weigh in are more engaged. Business management author Patrick Lencioni’s principle of “weigh in, buy in” suggests that if employees feel they are given opportunities to share their opinions and that their opinions are being heard, they will feel more connected to the organizational community. So listen up and remember that communication is only effective if it’s a two-way street.


This article was written in conjunction with a Newsweaver piece entitled “Three Factors That Drive Employee Engagement” from Andrew Blacknell, Blacknell Ventures.