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43% of employees say leadership communication needs to improve

Almost half (43%) of people say that communication is the area that leadership in their company needs to work on most, according to a survey of 16,000 respondents by Hays. Other areas they need to work on include strategy and planning (23%) and remote staff management (13%).

A third of employees (33%) report that they have contact with their manager less than once a week, with just 29% saying they have communication with their manager daily. The amount of contact people are having with their managers also appears to be decreasing – 34% say the amount of contact they have with their manager is now less than before lockdown began. A fifth of employers report feeling more distant from their team during lockdown, and 39% of employees say they feel more distant from colleagues.

Considering this in relation to the COVID-19 outbreak, 40% say that communication has changed since the outbreak, compared to 24% who say people and 22% who stated processes. Whilst 51% say their employer has responded well to COVID-19, 49% said their employer’s response was OK or poor.

Simon Winfield, managing director of Hays UK & Ireland, commented, “Clear, effective and timely communication from leaders to their staff is even more important in a crisis, and it is clear professionals believe there is vast room for improvement.

“There’s no doubt that the swift exit from office settings and changing guidance made it difficult for leaders to communicate effectively, but as many plan for a slower transition back to the workplace leaders now have an opportunity to make an impact and drive engagement from their teams. Employers should ensure they update their team regularly on their plans to mitigate any uncertainty or anxiety their staff have. They should also consider bolstering support networks by facilitating conversations between staff and scheduling social events over video calls.”

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