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Companies alienating workforce by ignoring worker opinion

Employers are guilty of ignoring the opinions of their workforce when it comes to making important decisions.

According to research from PR firm Magenta Associates, a third (33%) of workers did not believe their views were considered before their bosses made decisions that affected employees.

The survey also found over half (53%) of workers thought their employers were poor communicators. 

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Sarah-Jane Savage, head of employee engagement at Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS), said that employers should make communication a company-wide responsibility rather than relying on a single team.

Speaking to HR magazine, she said: "An organisation can see engagement as the responsibility of the people team, which of course it isn’t.

"Our approach has been designed to ensure that every individual has a role to play in driving our culture and performance. Our people are involved in the generation and circulation of content, and regularly asked to feedback on its impact and effectiveness to aid transparency."

This research highlighted the consequences of poor communication in the workplace, as 70% were unclear about their company's post-covid policies, and 66% have struggled to know how, when and where they are supposed to work.  

Will Barkway, partner and UK workforce communications leader at PwC UK, said that companies are working hard to improve their communication.

He told HR magazine: "I’m seeing businesses and clients investing in communications more than they ever have before. The organisations getting communications right are the ones connecting purpose to their business strategy and connecting purpose to the roles their people do in the business.

"We know purpose is a huge variable for employees in whether they find their work fulfilling, and for building trust with people and wider society. Of course, communications on purpose need to be backed up with transparency and tangible actions."

David Ard, senior vice president of employee success at messaging platform Slack, argued that managers should lead by example to help improve communication.

Speaking to HR magazine, he said: "This is important as organisations which promote location and schedule flexibility as a company-wide benefit, but have their managers spending most of their time working in the office, will likely create double standards.

"One way businesses can create a transparent culture and build trust is by adopting technology that supports open and transparent communication and developing their own digital headquarters - a central place for work and social interactions."