Effective Employee Communications Fosters Corporate Reputation

Informed and engaged employees more likely to say employers’ best days are ahead

05:00 AM EDT Jun 10, 2015 Rating
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Effective Employee Communications Fosters Corporate Reputation

New York, N.Y. – As a whole, American workers rate their employers’ reputations favorably, with over two-thirds of employed Americans rating their employer’s reputation as good (67%). One-quarter feel their company has a neutral reputation (25%) and just 2% see their employers as having a bad reputation.

More good news for U.S. employers comes in the form of seven in ten (69%) working Americans feeling the best years are ahead for their company. Not surprisingly, those who view their company as having a good reputation are more likely than those assigning a neutral reputation to believe the best years are ahead (76% vs. 54%, respectively).

Newly released findings from a November Harris Poll® that examines the relationship between effective employee communications and perceptions of their employer’s reputation, shows that companies who truly connect with their workers may have found themselves a secret ingredient after all. The poll of 2,276 U.S. adults (of whom 1,117 were employed or self-employed) was conducted online between November 12 and 17, 2014.

The engagement effect

Looking through the filter of employee engagement, we consistently find engaged employees more likely to both say their company has a good reputation and that their company’s best years are yet to come.

“The reputational impact of effective internal communications is clear,” says Carol Gstalder, SVP, Reputation Management & Public Relations Practice for Harris Poll, “and the role of managers is vital.” Employees look first to their manager to obtain the information they need to do their jobs. Effective managers share important company information in ways that resonate with their staffs, motivating them to achieve company goals.  Today, only one-third (33%) of managers strongly agree they are a primary communicator to employees and 47% strongly agree they are well trained and prepared to communicate news and information to employees.  Given the impact of employee communication on company reputation, ensuring managers are equipped with the skills needed to effectively communicate is an essential ingredient in today’s workplace.

 

TABLE 1a

OVERALL COMPANY REPUTATION

By Manager Status, Effective Communication, Familiarity with Goals, Understands Role Contribution, and Familiarity with Company Performance

“How would you rate the overall reputation of the company or organization you work for?”

 

Base: Employed or Self Employed

 

Total

Manages People

Company Communicates Effectively

Familiar with Company’s Goals/ Objectives

Understands how role contributes

Familiar with Company’s Performance

Yes

No

Yes

No

Yes

No

Yes

No

Yes

No

%

%

%

%

%

%

%

%

%

%

%

Good Reputation (NET)

67

74

65

76

36

71

39

70

44

72

47

7 – Very good reputation

39

43

37

43

21

42

18

41

27

43

22

6

28

31

27

33

15

29

21

30

17

29

25

Neutral Reputation (NET)

25

23

26

20

44

23

45

23

39

22

39

5

17

19

17

15

28

17

20

17

22

16

25

4

6

3

7

5

12

5

17

5

11

5

10

3

1

1

2

*

5

1

8

1

6

1

4

Bad Reputation (NET)

2

1

3

*

9

2

5

1

10

1

7

2

2

*

2

*

7

2

3

1

7

1

5

1 – Very bad reputation

*

*

1

*

2

*

2

*

3

*

2

Not Sure

5

2

7

4

10

5

11

5

7

5

8

Note: Percentages may not add up to 100% due to rounding

 


TABLE 1b

OVERALL COMPANY REPUTATION

By Company Size and Years with Company

“How would you rate the overall reputation of the company or organization you work for?”

 

Base: Employed or Self Employed

 

Total

Company Size

Years with Company

<100

100-999

1,000-9,999

10,000+

<5

5-9

10-24

25+

%

%

%

%

%

%

%

%

%

Good Reputation (NET)

67

73

60

64

68

70

66

64

68

7 – Very good reputation

39

47

28

34

41

43

35

34

48

6

28

26

31

30

27

27

31

30

20

Neutral Reputation (NET)

25

20

32

30

23

24

27

25

27

5

17

16

20

20

16

17

17

19

17

4

6

4

10

8

5

5

9

5

8

3

1

1

3

2

1

1

1

2

3

Bad Reputation (NET)

2

2

1

4

3

3

1

1

4

2

2

1

1

3

2

2

1

1

4

1 – Very bad reputation

*

*

*

*

1

*

*

1

*

Not Sure

5

5

7

2

7

3

6

9

1

Note: Percentages may not add up to 100% due to rounding

 


TABLE 2a

BEST YEARS PREDICTION

By Manager Status, Effective Communication, Familiarity with Goals, Understands Role Contribution, and Familiarity with Company Performance

“Based on everything you know about the company or organization you work for, would you say they have their best years ahead of them or their best years behind them/best years behind them or their best years ahead of them?”

 

Base: Employed or Self Employed                                           

 

Total

Manages People

Company Communicates Effectively

Familiar with Company’s Goals/ Objectives

Understands how role contributes

Familiar with Company’s Performance

Yes

No

Yes

No

Yes

No

Yes

No

Yes

No

%

%

%

%

%

%

%

%

%

%

%

Best years ahead

69

73

67

75

47

71

49

72

42

73

52

Best years behind

31

27

33

25

53

29

51

28

58

27

48

Note: Percentages may not add up to 100% due to rounding

 

 

TABLE 2b

BEST YEARS PREDICTION

By Company Size, Years with Company, and Overall Reputation

“Based on everything you know about the company or organization you work for, would you say they have their best years ahead of them or their best years behind them/best years behind them or their best years ahead of them?”

 

Base: Employed or Self Employed                                           

 

Total

Company Size

Years with Company

Overall Reputation

<100

100-999

1,000-9,999

10,000+

<5

5-9

10-24

25+

Good

Neutral

Bad

Not Sure

%

%

%

%

%

%

%

%

%

%

%

%

%

Best years ahead

69

73

62

70

68

77

66

63

54

76

54

17

64

Best years behind

31

27

38

30

32

23

34

37

46

24

46

83

36

Note: Percentages may not add up to 100% due to rounding


TABLE 3a

COMPANY COMMUNICATION

By Manager Status, Familiarity with Goals, Understands Role Contribution, and Familiarity with Company Performance

“Overall, how effective is the communication you receive from your company / organization in providing information of value to you?”

 

Base: Employed or Self Employed

 

Total

Manages People

Familiar with Company’s Goals/ Objectives

Understands how role contributes

Familiar with Company’s Performance

Yes

No

Yes

No

Yes

No

Yes

No

%

%

%

%

%

%

%

%

%

Effective (NET)

74

79

72

78

41

79

40

81

49

Very effective

24

29

21

25

11

26

8

27

11

Somewhat effective

51

50

51

53

30

53

32

54

38

Not Effective (NET)

26

21

28

22

59

21

60

19

51

Not very effective

19

16

20

17

34

16

36

15

36

Not at all effective

7

5

8

5

25

5

23

5

16

Note: Percentages may not add up to 100% due to rounding

 

TABLE 3b

COMPANY COMMUNICATION

By Company Size, Years with Company, and Overall Reputation

 “Overall, how effective is the communication you receive from your company / organization in providing information of value to you?”

 

Base: Employed or Self Employed

 

Total

Company Size

Years with Company

Overall Reputation

<100

100-999

1,000-9,999

10,000+

<5

5-9

10-24

25+

Good

Neutral

Bad

Not Sure

%

%

%

%

%

%

%

%

%

%

%

%

%

Effective (NET)

74

76

69

81

73

75

71

74

84

86

57

7

50

Very effective

24

29

16

25

23

23

23

26

20

34

3

-

5

Somewhat effective

51

47

52

56

50

52

48

48

64

52

54

7

44

Not Effective (NET)

26

24

31

19

27

25

29

26

16

14

43

93

50

Not very effective

19

20

26

12

16

18

22

20

6

11

35

25

30

Not at all effective

7

5

5

7

10

7

7

6

10

3

8

68

21

Note: Percentages may not add up to 100% due to rounding

 

 

TABLE 4a

ATTITUDES TOWARDS ENAGEMENT - SUMMARY

“How strongly do you agree or disagree with the following statements?”

 

Base: Employed or Self Employed

 

 

Agree (NET)

Strongly Agree

Somewhat Agree

Disagree (NET)

Somewhat Disagree

Strongly Disagree

I am familiar with the company’s goals and objectives.

%

90

48

42

10

7

3

I understand how my role contributes to achieving the goals and objectives of the company.

%

89

49

40

11

8

3

I am well trained and prepared to communicate company news and information to my employees.

%

87

47

40

13

12

1

I am familiar with how the company is performing against its goals and objectives.

%

81

39

42

19

14

5

I see myself as a primary communicator of company news and information to my employees.

%

74

33

41

26

16

10

 

Note: Percentages may not add up to 100% due to rounding

 


TABLE 4b

ATTITUDES TOWARDS ENAGEMENT – SUMMARY OF AGREE

By Company Size, Years with Company, Overall Reputation

“How strongly do you agree or disagree with the following statements?”

 

Base: Employed or Self Employed

 

Total

Company Size

Years with Company

Overall Reputation

<100

100-999

1,000-9,999

10,000+

<5

5-9

10-24

25+

Good

Neutral

Bad

Not Sure

%

%

%

%

%

%

%

%

%

%

%

%

%

I am familiar with the company’s goals and objectives.

90

91

86

92

89

90

87

91

91

94

82

76

80

I understand how my role contributes to achieving the goals and objectives of the company.

89

92

88

88

85

88

86

91

88

93

83

49

85

I am well trained and prepared to communicate company news and information to my employees.

87

90

80

92

85

83

83

92

89

92

73

32

91

I am familiar with how the company is performing against its goals and objectives.

81

83

77

79

83

77

80

86

87

87

71

40

73

I see myself as a primary communicator of company news and information to my employees.

74

82

66

87

58

73

75

74

75

76

75

21

31

Note: Percentages may not add up to 100% due to rounding

 


TABLE 5

EMPLOYMENT STATUS

“What is your employment status? Please select all that apply.”

 

Base: U.S. Adults

 

Total

%

Employed full time

37

Employed part time

11

Self-employed

7

Not employed, but looking for work

8

Not employed and not looking for work

2

Not employed, unable to work due to a disability or illness

7

Retired

21

Student

7

Homemaker

11

 

TABLE 6

POSITION TYPE

“Which of the following best describes your position at the company/organization you work for? If you have more than one job, here and in later questions please think about the one you consider your primary job.”

 

Base: Employed or Self Employed

 

Total

%

Hourly

50

Salaried

38

Other

12

 

TABLE 7

MANAGER STATUS

“Do you manage people at the company/organization you work for?”

 

Base: Employed or Self Employed

 

Total

%

Yes

29

No

71

 

 

TABLE 8

TIME WITH CURRENT EMPLOYER

“How many years have you been with your primary employer? If you are self-employed in your primary job, please estimate the length of time you have been self-employed.”

 

Base: Employed or Self Employed

 

Total

%

0

4

1-5

45

6-10

21

11-15

12

16-20

8

21-25

4

26-30

4

31+

3

Mean

8.8 years

 

 

TABLE 9

SIZE OF COMPANY OR ORGANIZATION

“Across all locations, approximately how many total employees work for your company or organization? If you are not sure, please provide your best estimate.”

 

Base: Employed or Self Employed

 

Total

%

1

8

2 to 4

6

5 to 9

4

10 to 24

9

25 to 49

6

50 to 99

5

100 to 249

9

250 to 499

6

500 to 999

7

1,000 to 2,499

6

2,500 to 4,999

5

5,000 to 9,999

6

10,000 to 14,999

4

15,000 to 19,999

3

20,000+

16


Methodology

This Harris Poll was conducted online, in English, within the United States between November 12 and 17, 2014 among 2,276 adults (aged 18 and over). Figures for age, sex, race/ethnicity, education, region and household income were weighted where necessary to bring them into line with their actual proportions in the population. Propensity score weighting was also used to adjust for respondents’ propensity to be online. 

All sample surveys and polls, whether or not they use probability sampling, are subject to multiple sources of error which are most often not possible to quantify or estimate, including sampling error, coverage error, error associated with nonresponse, error associated with question wording and response options, and post-survey weighting and adjustments. Therefore, The Harris Poll avoids the words “margin of error” as they are misleading. All that can be calculated are different possible sampling errors with different probabilities for pure, unweighted, random samples with 100% response rates. These are only theoretical because no published polls come close to this ideal.

Respondents for this survey were selected from among those who have agreed to participate in Harris Poll surveys. The data have been weighted to reflect the composition of the adult population. Because the sample is based on those who agreed to participate in our panel, no estimates of theoretical sampling error can be calculated.

These statements conform to the principles of disclosure of the National Council on Public Polls.

 

The results of this Harris Poll may not be used in advertising, marketing or promotion without the prior written permission of The Harris Poll.

 

Product and brand names are trademarks or registered trademarks of their respective owners.

 

The Harris Poll® #32, June 10, 2015

About The Harris Poll®

Begun in 1963, The Harris Poll is one of the longest running surveys measuring public opinion in the U.S. and is highly regarded throughout the world. The nationally representative polls, conducted primarily online, measure the knowledge, opinions, behaviors and motivations of the general public. New and trended polls on a wide variety of subjects including politics, the economy, healthcare, foreign affairs, science and technology, sports and entertainment, and lifestyles are published weekly. 

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