Communication within companies can be a major weak point. 60% of companies do not have a long-term plan when it comes to internal communications, and only 23% of executives say that their companies are great at aligning employee goals and corporate plans.
There are statistics like this all around, because communication is such a problem for many, many companies.
One of the weakest aspects of communication in many workplaces is bottom-up communication This term describes the way the voice of those on the frontline of the workforce is able to work its way to the highest levels of management. This is a real loss for corporations who aren’t focusing on this area of communication. Employees may feel less motivated and productivity may be lower. The company itself also misses out on unique insight into the very processes they rely on as a business, to make money and sustain their brand.
What Goes Wrong With Bottom-Up Communication?
Before you can improve the bottom-up communication in your business, you have to understand what could be going wrong with yours currently. Some of the most common reasons bottom-up communication goes wrong are:
- A lack of communication channels
- Staff feeling unable to express how they feel without repercussions
- Staff feeling a lack of engagement with the company overall
- Management feeling uncomfortable engaging with employees
- Employees feel a lack of direction overall
- A lack of cohesion between employee goals, and the bigger company vision
Identifying how your company communication currently works and the issues it has is an honest, brave and important first step to improving it.
Tips To Help You Improve Your Bottom-Up Communication
To help you make a start boosting your bottom up feedback for a better business, consider these tips:
If your employees do not trust the management in your company they will not feel able to speak up.
Nurture Company Culture
If bottom-up feedback has never been prioritised it will take time to make it part of company culture. If you nurture those behaviours and habits, it will become normal for employees to engage and feedback in this way.
Don't Discourage Criticism
If you want to truly embrace diverse opinions and feelings you have to take criticism on board. Your employees understand the needs of your customers, so allowing them to offer their full spectrum of feedback is invaluable.
Communicate From The Top
It is common for employees to feel as though they do not get clear and transparent goals from management. Which decreases their chance of engaging overall. Boosting top-down communication can boost bottom-up communication eventually.
Let Employees Feel Heard
If employees do not feel heard they will be less likely to offer their feedback. Managers should practise their listening skills and show that they fully take on board what has been said.
Management should be approachable, otherwise members of staff who are perhaps not forthright will not feel able to speak up.
The more you can show your staff how their voice is heard and that it is valued, the more empowered they will feel. If staff feel important and like their feedback matters, they are much more likely to value their position within the company overall, and to care about boosting business.
Multiple Feedback Channels
The more feedback channels you can create, the more diverse the feedback you will get and the more likely you are to get it. Combine various technological channels, 1-2-1 processes and group meetings to ensure you are gathering as much information as you can.
Prioritise Your Bottom-Up Communication For A Better Business
Poor communication in companies is a huge issue and it will be a constant journey to improve it. Bottom-up communication is certainly a good place to start, particularly if it is already noticeably lacking. The rewards of better bottom-up communication will benefit both employees and business overall, for a more transparent and honest company culture, and better working processes all round.