In 2012, approximately 75 million employees in the U.S. were paid at hourly rates, representing 59 percent of the entire workforce. These are the people that ring the cash registers, serve food behind the counter and work the night shift on the factory floor.
They are also the employees that don’t have corporate email addresses. Because of that, management often neglects necessary employee communication with this group of workers. The problem: the lack of employee communication leads to employees questioning the motives of management, which then leads to lower levels of morale and productivity. Which leads to even lower trust. It’s a vicious cycle.
Lee Colan, the founder of leadership consulting firm L Group, calls this problem the silence spiral. The trend goes like this: Silence ⇒ Doubt ⇒ Fear ⇒ Panic ⇒ Worst-Case Thinking.
The problem can come from anywhere. “A closed office door, a vague reply to an honest questions, an unreciprocated greeting as you pass in the hallway, or a cancelled one-on-one meeting without explanation can all be triggers,” he writes in Inc. magazine. “Even if these actions take place without good reason, if they are not the norm, they can be enough to open the door of doubt in the minds of your employees.”
It is far easier for the hourly employee to fall into this sort of spiral. For one, managers may (myopically) view hourly employees as more of a commodity in the workplace, thus leaving them out of the loop. They make excuses by saying things like, “I don’t want to cause undo worry” or “that’s not necessarily something they need to know right now.”
But more importantly, the hourly employee usually doesn’t have the same communications means that a full-time staffer does, namely a corporate email address. That email is a major thread that keeps various levels of management connected to their workforce, and without it, employees can easily slip through the cracks.
Fortunately, the rise in employee communication apps over the past several years provides an opportunity to connect to a group of employees that management has struggled to reach. Through services such as Red e App, leadership can effectively keep everyone on the same page, leading to a happier, more focused and more productive organization.
Whether in the C-Suite, hunkering in the cubicles on working tirelessly on the factory floor, everyone should have the opportunity to be fully in the loop and engaged with the day-to-day workings of their company.
For more information on how Red e App can help better foster employee communications inside your organization, please feel free to contact us.
Founder and CEO