In the loop or in the dark?

2012

Do you know what's going on in your organization or do you feel that you're always kept in the dark? According to a new survey, if you'[re one of the latter group, you're not alone. More than a third (36 per cent) of US employees say that they are hardly ever aware of what's really going on at work.

The survey, by AMA Enterprise, part of the American Management Association, set out to probe transparency in the workplace. And according to Sandi Edwards, Senior Vice President for AMA Enterprise, what it found probably reflect the realities of the workplace today.

Fewer than one in 10 of those surveyed (just nine per cent), said that they know what's going on most of the time, with just over half (55 per cent) saying they felt informed "some of the time".

But that still leaves more than a third – 36 per cent – who say that they are hardly ever aware what's really going on.

"In order for employees to be engaged in their work and be productive it's essential they have a sense of inclusion and a grasp of what's going on," Edwards said.

"But too often employees do not feel trusted or involved in decision making, or may not even know what the business strategy is. Many workers, according to the findings, feel excluded."

The survey also tracked the perspective of management to ascertain if they believe their messages are getting through. It found that almost six out of 10 believe they know what is going on at least some of the time.

"Of course, they're in the know more than employees in general," observed Edwards. "Nevertheless, a majority of management-level people concede they sometimes feel they are not in the loop. In fact, 15 per cent say they hardly ever know what's going on."

According to Edwards, the findings may serve as a barometer of employee engagement and commitment.

"Everyone has a need to be included, to be part of the process, to feel secure, and to have a sense of their role in making their company successful. Organizations that fall short in terms of transparency will pay a price."

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