Why CIOs care about employee engagement and communications

Picture of Firstup

We all know engaged employees are happier and more productive. According to Gallup, organizations with highly engaged employees outperform their peers in earnings per share by 147%.

Unfortunately, Gallup also reports 61% of workers are not engaged at all.

Recently, we asked what role IT teams can play in helping companies boost employee engagement and how to make them co-champions for internal communications.

Susan Gerock, CIO at WashREIT, who has more than 22 years of management and Information Technology (IT) experience in commercial real estate, manufacturing, and retail, spoke to Chuck Gose, strategic advisor at Firstup, in our Culture, Comms, & Cocktails podcast. As she said, good internal communications:

… enables people to do their jobs. It’s meeting people where they are. It lets people work where they want to work, it lets people consume information in the way they want to consume it, in the time they want to consume it. It gives them that flexibility to blend that life experience with the work experience. And that’s what we try to do with technology at WashREIT, is to deliver on that employee experience at the same time while giving them the freedom to communicate in any way and from anywhere.

How did Washington REIT improve internal communications?

Susan has a deep level of experience working on communications through an IT lens. At the beginning of 2018, WashREIT focused on streamlining and improving internal communication.  The company owns and operates real estate assets in the Washington, D.C. market. With a portfolio of 48 properties, it includes more than 6.1 million square feet of commercial space, office and retail, and more than 4,200 multi-family apartment units. With a distributed workforce that’s onsite running the properties and on-the-go-visiting properties and meeting with clients, employees wanted simpler methods of sharing information throughout the company.

With Washington REIT vice president Anthony Chang and senior director of marketing and corporate communications, Deanna Schmidt, Susan volunteered to be part of the group that addressed this strategic goal for the year.

Why IT needs to partner with internal communications

Although they considered traditional ways of reaching people, none of them really clicked. They felt there must be better, more technologically savvy ways of engaging with their entire workforce. Because IT teams have an extensive understanding of the ways technology tools can boost productivity and how those tools can be designed to work seamlessly together, they can be uniquely informed allies when it comes to improving employee engagement.

When they discovered Firstup, they were excited to find a solution to truly reach employees where they are and on the channel of their choice.

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