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The high cost of slipping employee engagement

Companies around the world lost $7.8 trillion in productivity in 2021 because of an unengaged or actively disengaged workforce, according to Gallup’s State of the Global Workplace report.

  • Employee engagement had been on the rise over the past decade — but the pandemic stalled that steadily increasing trend.

  • A big source of burnout: Unclear communication from managers.

The big picture: For leaders to beat The Great Resignation, they have to set priorities that both serve their business and inspire and engage their teams — then communicate them clearly, frequently, and transparently.

Communication is the hardest part of that equation — and many leaders face difficulty tapping the right tools and collecting the right feedback to improve this skill so critical to team engagement.

It's time for a smarter strategy. Cydney Roach, Edelman's Global Chair & U.S. Practice Lead, Employee Experience, and Doug Madey, Briq's Vice President, Marketing & Communications, shared best practices to advance your leadership comms strategy. 

  • Prioritize the employee experience. “Consumers are telling us that how brands treat employees directly impacts their brand loyalty, too,” Cydney said. “So prioritizing staff’s expectation — clear communication — will be critical to any organization’s success. 

  • Speak out on societal issues. About 60% of employees say they expect CEOs to speak publicly about social and political issues, according to Edelman’s 2022 Edelman Trust Barometer. “The ability of leadership to lean in and create dialog has been paramount whether it is the last 2-3 years or the last 10,” Cydney added.

  • Be authentic and vulnerable. “Everyone has a different voice, and they should,” Doug said. “We have employees where English is not their first language… That shouldn't be a barrier.” Just get your message out authentically.

  • Develop trainings to boost confidence. “Some of our best clients have a ‘milestone school’ for when people ascend into a people manager role, and communicating is part of the job,” Cydney said. “It's part of effective team building.”

The takeaway: Employees are at the nexus of brand trust and communication. Winning the Great Resignation means keeping your staff engaged and motivated to avoid stress and burnout.  

Go deeper: See how Edelman and Briq put comms at the heart of their leadership strategies — and used Axios HQ to do it.

Fortune 100 companies and startups alike trust Axios HQ. See a free demo and learn how we help leaders communicate their purpose effectively.