Keep IT staff informed to improve business performance

Keep IT staff informed

Bill Goodwin

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Business performance is suffering because managers are failing to keep IT staff informed about business developments, a study has claimed.

Eighty-six per cent of UK technology staff surveyed said they first heard about important developments in their companies not from their bosses, but through rumours picked up around the office.

This compares to an average of 67% of staff across all industry sectors who said they heard about company developments through the rumour mill.

Research company ISR, which carried out the survey of 40,000 staff across Europe, said poor communication meant that employees felt left out of decision making and were less inclined to put in the extra effort needed to make the organisation a success.

"High-tech companies do not perform as well [at communicating] as companies in other sectors. There are a number of reasons for that. It is probably because they are quite lean, and they do not have large communications departments," said Yves Duhaldeborde, executive director at ISR.

Managers in high-tech companies tend to communicate by e-mail, rather than taking the time to speak to people in person, he added.

Less than 50% of employees in high-tech companies said they were happy with the information they were being given by managers about the performance of their businesses, compared to 59% among companies in other sectors.

Companies that fail to communicate to their staff perform worse on the stock market than those with good communications, ISR said.

ISR tracked the performance of 57 multinational companies over two years. In companies where an above average number of employees said they were kept informed of developments within the business, share prices rose by an average of $7.80 (£4.13). In companies where a below average number of employees felt they were kept informed, share prices declined by an average of $8.10.

"This research shows that managers in the UK have a lot to learn. Employees care about their manager's ability to communicate and want to know as much as possible about their organisations," said Duhaldeborde.

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