Ground down by corporate jargon

Sep 30 2005 by Nic Paton Print This Article

British workers are bombarded by corporate jargon and "communications initiatives", yet complain they are none the wiser about what is really going on or whether what they are doing is making any difference, according to latest research.

The poll of 1,000 workers by workplace communications consultancy CHA found a clear split between those who thought their organisation did communicate well (44 per cent) and those who felt it did not (56 per cent).

Worryingly, six out of 10 workers who were kept in the dark said they planned to leave their current job in the next two years.

Workers who knew what the plan was were five times more likely to be motivated.

And nearly two thirds (65 per cent) said much of the information they got was not relevant to their job.

A significant minority - almost four out of 10 - felt they were told too late about big changes within their organisation.

More than eight out of 10 of those who did receive clear communication said they were motivated to add value.

But the figure dropped to barly more than a third in organisations where the communication is confusing.

Although workers often moan about the number of meeting they have to attend, when it came to explaining corporate news or plans, team meetings were voted the best way of communicating the message to staff.

This was followed by letters to staff, visits by leaders, newsletters and employee conferences.

Colette Hill, chief executive of CHA, said: "Business leaders need to become better and more regular communicators. They need to get out into the field to have conversations with their employees; they need to bring staff together to share ideas and plans; and they need to ensure leaders at every level in their organisation see employee communication as a vital part of their day job."

The findings of the survey were backed by National Grid HR director Pat Fulker, who said: "It is not enough to rely on company magazines and newsletters; employees want to hear messages face to face from their managers with an ability to feed back.

"It is vital that managers are trained as communicators and we see the team brief is an integral part of this process."