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Shift to “anywhere” work has made connection harder

Samantha Hird, Simpplr

“Today’s workforce is now ‘anywhere’ work—inclusive of all—whether people work in distributed, hybrid, or in-office environments. With all the changes we’re going through as a workforce, it’s so important that people feel included, connected, and supported as part of the overall transformation of the workplace,” said Paige Leidig, chief marketing officer, Simpplr. “Employers need to have these three things in order to maximize employee retention,  engagement, and productivity.”

The Anywhere Work Employee Experience Survey Report* found overall that 79% of HR executives feel the post-Covid shift to remote and remote hybrid work has made internal communications ‘a little more’ or ‘very’ challenging. 

Only 28% of HR leaders say that upholding a company’s culture in an anywhere work environment is ‘easy;’ whereas, 34% reported it to be ‘difficult’ or ‘very difficult.’ Some respondents even reported, ‘not sure we’re doing it well at all.’

Making sure employees feel connected to the organization is one of HR leaders’ biggest concerns. Notably, they say that ensuring remote and hybrid employees feel connected is one of the top employee retention problems they face. Effective communication is one of the ways to align and connect employees. 

HR executives who responded said they are unsatisfied with their communications with employees. More than a third of those responding (36%) feel their inter-company communications are only somewhat effective and engaging, with 61% saying they find it challenging to segment specific information to departments within their organization. Most respondents said all employees receive the same information at the same time.

About 66% of respondents say they don’t have a single effective internal communications channel to share company news, ensure compliance with new policies, or make sure employees have a good understanding of the company’s goals and objectives. Many organizations use either email (33%), use legacy technologies like SharePoint (12%), rely on managers to relay information (9%), or a mixture of all these methods (19%).

When it comes to employee retention, the top problems facing company HR leaders were (from biggest problem to smallest):

1) Ensuring employees feel heard and hear what management is communicating to them

2) Making sure remote and hybrid work employees feel connected

3) Making sure employees have the tools they need and know how to use them 

4) Difficulty onboarding new employees

5) Getting consistent feedback from the employee base

“Notably, when many organizations communicate with their employees, they blast the same news and information to all employees. By taking a spaghetti-at-the-wall philosophy, organizations are cluttering employees’ channels and brains,” said Carolyn Clark, vice president of employee experience strategy and transformation. “This approach is not only ineffective but it slows productivity, is impersonal, and contributes to a disjointed employee experience. It’s crucial that those EX leaders communicating with employees have a thoughtful communications approach and process, and the technology they need to impact major business goals.” 

*Report from Simpplr

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