Good Communication Is Vital to Employee Satisfaction

Internal communications happy employees Paul Barton Communications

By Ilana Lowery
Phoenix Business Journal
Guest Blogger

What makes employees love where they work? Cool perks? Yes. Free food? Absolutely. Employee outings? Of course. But what really matters, according to our recent Phoenix Business Journal Best Places to Work survey, are good employee communication, employee recognition, and employee engagement.

Bottom line? Internal communications professionals are vital to employee satisfaction because their work impacts every one of these three key areas every day.

When the Journal was putting together its BPW list, we asked employees (through a third-party administered survey) about factors such as workplace environment, leadership direction, culture, and management practices. While many of the companies at the top of our annual list are no doubt fun places to work, the best businesses boast superior overall workplace culture and, more specifically, excellent communication with their employees.

The three areas we identified:

  • Employee communication. By far the most important and distinguishing characteristic of the best workplaces is good internal communications, especially two-way communications. It is through open communications that management develops its credibility, an essential building block in creating an environment of trust.
  • Recognition programs. Showing appreciation for good work and clearly communicating that appreciation is important in terms of showing respect for employees and is also essential to create an environment of trust.
  • Engagement and camaraderie. An environment where employees work well together while being encouraged to give back to the community is desirable. Open, honest, effective communication is vital to building an atmosphere of camaraderie, and that’s where the work of the internal communications professional comes in.

Creating an atmosphere where employees can play hard after they work hard, is a winning formula. It takes creative decision-making and sound judgment to maintain a strong work environment. All the fun activities, though, don’t replace the fact that companies run by leaders who care about their workers, communicate clearly and effectively with them, and trust them enough to be flexible and accommodating are the ones that are proven to be most successful.


Ilana Lowery has been editor-in-chief of the Phoenix Business Journal since June of 2013. She joined the publication in 1995 after six years as an editor for Independent Newspapers in Scottsdale, Ariz., and has been a reporter, projects editor, managing editor, and editor at the Journal. Before her move to the Phoenix area in 1989, she was a reporter and editor for Pulitzer Newspapers in Chicago, where she also worked as a scriptwriter and associate producer for the NBC-TV affiliate. A 1986 graduate of the University of Illinois, Ilana is currently an associate professor at Arizona State University’s Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communications.

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