5 April, 00.01
T: 020 7701 0752
British businesses are buzzing with rumours
UK and France have the busiest rumour mills in Europe
Employees in the UK think that they are more likely to hear about changes to their workplace discussed around the water-cooler than straight from their bosses. Sixty seven percent of UK employees say they usually hear about important business matters first through rumour. The research released today by global research and consulting firm ISR also shows that the UK rumour mill is one of the busiest in Europe, matched only by France.
According to the experts behind the research, rumours prevail because many of our business leaders are poor communicators. As a result employees feel left out of decision making and are less inclined to put in the extra effort needed to make their organisation a success.
ISR research has also shown that there is a link between the communication skills of business leaders and share price performance on the stock market. Those companies where employees say their bosses are poor communicators are more likely to perform poorly on the stock market.
The research is released the day before new Information and Consultation of Employees regulations come into force. This gives employees new rights to be informed and consulted about developments in the workplace. The ISR research includes the views of 10,268 UK employees and 30,550 across the rest of Europe.
UK managers, alongside their French counterparts, are ranked the poorest in Europe when it comes to telling employees about important business developments first. Managers in Denmark are the best at beating the rumour mill, with only 41% of
employees saying that the first place they hear about workplace developments is through rumour.
The rumour mill is particularly active in the hi-tech sector in the UK, where 77% of employees say they hear about significant developments through rumour first. The UK manufacturing sector also performs poorly, with 70% of employees reporting that the first place they hear about workplace developments is through rumour. The volatility within these sectors may account for the high percentage of people who report finding out about important developments through rumour, according to ISR experts.
The introduction of new regulations isn’t the only reason managers need to think carefully about communication. ISR research has also shown that there is a link between employees reporting that their organisation ‘does an excellent job keeping employees informed about matters that affect us’ and share price performance. Fifty seven multi-national companies were tracked over two years.
In the companies where an above average number of employees say they are kept informed share prices rose by an average of $7.80.
In companies where a below average number of employees say they are kept informed share prices declined by an average of $8.10.
Commenting on the research Yves Duhaldeborde, Executive Director at ISR said:
“Good leaders are good communicators, and 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. They want to understand its core values and feel involved in key decisions. Managers need to change their approach, and not just because of the new the regulations. Clear, unambiguous communication helps ensure employees are willing to work harder, understanding and supporting their company’s goals and vision. Without it employees are likely to just tread water and this will be reflected in financial performance”.
For an interview with an ISR spokesperson or more information please contact Liz Marshall on 020 7701 0752 or 07796697593.
Notes for editors
1 ISR is a leading global employee research and consultancy business. It has been in operation for over 30 years and works with some of the world’s leading organisations.
2 The percentage of employees that agree with the statement, we usually hear about important matters through rumour first:
United Kingdom 67%
3 The number of people who responded to the statement ‘we usually hear about important matters through rumour first’ is as follows:
United Kingdom – 10,268
France – 7,583
Germany – 9,709
Sweden – 1,245
Finland – 1,067
Norway – 612
4 The median percentage of employees in the multinational companies included in the share price research that agreed with the statement ‘my organisation does an excellent job at keeping me informed about matters that affect us’ is 66 %.
5. The companies examined started at an average share price of around $30. Over a 24-month period, companies in which an above average number of employees said they are kept informed improved in share price by 21%, whereas those in which a below average number of employees said they are kept informed declined in share price by 27%.
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