Nearly 45% of Irish employees say that their CEO isn’t visible to staff and discourages them from dropping into their office. This is according to a new report published today by Dublin-based communications agency, PR360.
Almost half of employees have had fewer than five interactions with their CEO in the last 12 months and a third of employees say that their CEO doesn’t even know their name.
The PR360 “New Times, New Leaders: CEO Communications Report 2019”, which examines employees’ attitude to their CEO or organisational head’s communication abilities, finds that although CEOs appreciate the basic value of communications, few have any proper communications strategy in place.
The report shows that employees who are informed and engaged feel better about their work and do more of it, benefiting their organisation’s productivity and revenue. Eighty two percent of employees say regular company-wide communication from the CEO is important.
Among this group, 89% say that regular communication is good for morale and productivity, and 70% say it makes them feel valued. Nearly a third (29%) say that effective CEO communications result in improved financial performance.
Despite positive sentiment towards CEO communications among employees, 40% say that their CEO rates “okay”, “poor” or “very poor” for communication. Nearly half (46%) say they have had fewer than five interactions with the most senior person in their organisation—be that an email or a face-to-face meeting—in the last 12 months.
PR360 warn that by failing to engage with employees, CEOs could even be harming their organisation’s ability to innovate. Just over 40% of employees say that they do not feel comfortable approaching their CEO with a new idea for the business.
Commenting on the report’s findings, Managing Director of PR360, Dan Pender said, "The best employees value good leadership and direction. When the CEO doesn’t lead or avoids dealing with challenges and crises, these employees grow disillusioned and look elsewhere for work. In an extremely tight labour market full of opportunity, a confident, proactive CEO is often the only thing keeping a good employee from jumping ship."
He added, "The CEO is no longer just the suit at the top of the food chain. In a post-Steve Jobs world, CEOs are visionaries and leaders as much as they are heads of business. The CEO who broadly embraces an empathetic and open approach to communications will create a positive, more productive workplace culture. They will also improve their own performance."