Few managers would argue that employee engagement and involvement are important factors in a company’s performance. Numerous studies over the years have shown the link between employee engagement and improvements in productivity, performance, customer service, retention, and even the financial health of a company. Managers the world over have taken this to heart and have put engagement on the corporate agenda.
Yet, there is one area that leaves many employees feeling disengaged and downright powerless – understanding the company’s finances. In the spirit of transparency and openness – two often cited drivers of employee engagement – we throw difficult financial terms and concepts at employees and expect them to understand and take appropriate action. Instead, employees very often feel intimidated and ill equipped to make the decisions that can have a positive influence on the bottom line. Invariably, employees feel that the only way they can contribute is by cutting costs. Feeling forced to resign to such a Sisyphean situation and not being able to influence your work conditions can be downright demoralising.
Adding up the numbers
Ann-Kathrin Halvorsen has been the corporate communications director for Swedish medical devices company Mölnlycke Health Care since early 2009. She is responsible for all global internal and external communication including web channels, branding, crisis and media management and financial communication. Prior to moving into corporate communications, Ann worked in various finance related roles within Mölnlycke Health Care. Ann began her career in the US when she worked for Milliman, an employee communications and benefits consultancy. Here she was tasked with communicating complex pension investment vehicles to employees in companies throughout the US.