Up and downward comms is key to engagement
Northwestern University conducted a very large survey of U.S. companies, looking particularly at the link, if any, between organizational culture and financial performance. This was no simple survey:
A total of 110,000 surveys, with three dollar bills attached, were mailed to prospective respondents in the 100 markets involved in the study. A total of 37,036 customers completed the survey, resulting in approximately a 34% response rate, with the number of respondents per market ranging from 271 to 472 (mean = 366.7). [...] To test for non-response bias, we followed up the mail survey with a telephone survey of 2,000 non-responders.
Of the many key findings, I found this fascinating:
The key organizational characteristic for explaining employee satisfaction is organizational communication (a measure of the downward and upward communication in an organization).
Further into the report, the following results were noted:
The key organizational characteristic for explaining Employee Satisfaction was Organizational Communication, a measure of organizational climate. Organizational Communication represents the measure of the downward communication in the organization, i.e. the effectiveness with which information about the organization is sent and received by employees, and the upward communication in the organization, i.e. the effectiveness with which information is sent from employees to people in higher level positions. The analysis in this study shows that Organizational Communication accounts for 45% of the variance in Employee Satisfaction, while none of the other 13 organizational characteristics under study were found to have a significant impact on Employee Satisfaction.
And the best tool that I know of to communicate both up and down the organization is blogging — the ability to share knowledge as well as feedback to higher levels what the view looks like form the ground floor.
Link to full report