HR is missing a trick by undervaluing open communication

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HR professionals who undervalue open communication are letting a free employee perk pass them by as workers reveal they’d rather join a company with open values over one that offers an impressive benefits package.

Eighty-one per cent of employees said they’d pick an organization with an open culture over one which offered perks such as health insurance, free food and gym memberships, according to the survey by 15Five.

However, the survey also found that employers – and managers in particular – are failing workers in this area. Just 15 per cent of more than 1,000 respondents said they were “very satisfied” with the quality of communication within their companies.

Managers took somewhat of a lambasting in the online poll, with 31 per cent of employees saying their superiors didn’t create enough transparency, 24 per cent saying their managers are too busy to listen and 23 per cent saying their higher-ups simply aren’t good at communicating.

Respondents also said having a manager check in with them on a regular basis – even for as little as five minutes a week – is extremely important to them.

So what’s to blame? – According to respondents, generational gaps are a big roadblock when it comes to communication.

The survey pointed out specific communication faults prevalent in each of the generational groups in today’s workforce:

Baby boomers: these older employees were identified as the group that struggles to adapt to new communication technologies like text and chat.

Gen Xers: tend to be labelled as less open and more guarded

Millennials: while younger workers are considered more honest, they’re also too brash and opinionated. The age group was also criticised for being unable to talk face-to-face due to its over reliance on technological tools.

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  • Westcoaster on 2015-04-27 10:45:07 PM

    Great article. I don't think a lack of communication means a lack of ability or caring. Managers are very aware (especially managers who also wear the HR hat in smaller companies) of what COULD be said but they refrain from saying too much because the situation or company is too volatile to make promises or allow a such communication. Today's business is extremely competitive. I have only seen ''open communication'' made rarely and to individuals who earn money for the company. Support rarely gets any open communication and are treated like drudges. Support and administration only are communicated with when something goes wrong or when someone wants something urgently. People are warned to guard their thoughts and opinions and I think managers are even more wary of being sued or held liable for saying too much.

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