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One in four not told about business performance
According to the latest Badenoch & Clark Employment Study, a worrying proportion of the UK workforce is being kept in the dark about the performance of their organisation. More than one in four (28%) are told nothing about business performance, with one in twenty even being discouraged from asking questions of the management team. The result? Valued talent leaving their employers at a time that theyre needed the most.
This tendency to keep employees in the dark is particularly prevalent in the Midlands, with 45% of employees reporting theyre never told about business performance from the management team. Accounting and finance staff seem to be the most uninformed of the professions, with around a third (30%) being kept in the dark.
Poor communication seems to be evident in even the most stressful of situations, with a third of employees reporting that their employers have made redundancies without fully explaining the reasons to their people. As well as creating a confused and nervous workforce, this could have serious legal ramifications for some employers.
And it seems many of the countrys best talent could vote with their feet in the face of such poor communication from on high. A quarter of people said theyd leave their employer if they werent told about the companys performance or heard bad news second hand.
Neil Wilson, managing director at Badenoch & Clark, comments: Good internal communication is often given lip-service by some business leaders. Too often, theres a tendency to believe that the general workforce neednt know the bigger picture. A lot of employers are starting to see the benefits of internal comms, but these figures show that large swathes of the UK workforce are still being kept in the dark by their management teams.
Whats perhaps more serious is the effect of this cloak and dagger approach to internal comms. One in four people said theyd actually leave their employer if they were told nothing about business performance or heard about it from anyone other than their management team. At a time when organisations are plotting a way through the recession and laying the foundations for growth once the economy recovers, this could have a serious impact. Whilst it may not result in huge numbers of people heading for the exit now, many employers may see a significant brain drain when the economy does recover and people feel more secure to move jobs.
Good internal comms isnt a complicated task. It means ensuring someone has clear responsibility for it and processes are set up to regularly inform the whole organisation of key business news. That could be a newsletter, a weekly email, a company intranet, a regular meeting with the management team or simply ensuring information is effectively filtered down through the organisations management chain. However its done, employers need to engage better with their people, especially when times are tough. The alternative is an unmotivated, unproductive, nervous workforce that will head for the hills at the first opportunity.


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