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Workplace Study Finds Major Communication Failure Between Employees and Business Leaders


In Workplace by Facebook’s first ever survey looking at the disconnect between company headquarters and the frontline, results revealed businesses are inhibiting innovation and creativity by making employees feel dangerously undervalued.

“Frontline workers have remained largely outside the scope of traditional business communications and collaboration space, which typically focuses on knowledge and office workers. These deskless workers, who tend to rely on personal devices and consumer apps that are far from adequate for work-related communications, represent an overlooked market opportunity.” Raul Castanon-Martinez, Workplace Collaboration and Communication Senior Analyst at 451 Research commented.

Today’s workforce is more dispersed than ever, with a significant portion of employees working with customers or products on the frontline, away from company headquarters. The way we work has changed and so must businesses approach in ensuring the entire organisation is connected and everyone has a voice.

Workplace conducted a survey of over 4,000 frontline workers and HQ managers in the US and UK, which resulted in findings including:

Communication breakdown:

  • While 86% of employees feel connected to their direct co-workers, only 14% feel connected to their business HQ
  • Only 22% of employees say their ideas make up a substantial portion of conversation with their bosses, with 52% of managers believing that their employees new ideas are the main topic
  • 95% of business leaders recognise the value of collaboration tools, but only 56% have rolled them out

Silence is stifling:

  • Only 45% of frontline workers share their ideas with senior team members, whereas 90% of managers confidently report that their frontline workers feel empowered to share business ideas with them
  • While 25% of employees have had an idea but never told anyone, a further 38% have shared their idea – only for it to be ignored

Employees with a voice feel valued:

  • 83% of managers confidently claim they give all employees a voice within their business, however 54% claim they feel voiceless
  • 21% of frontline workers say they would consider quitting if they aren’t listened to
  • Only 48% of those without collaboration tools claim their head office understands the role they perform and the value they bring vs 63% of those with collaboration tools

These stats show that more often than not, business leaders are taking the wrong approach to employee engagement and as a result, employees feel undervalued and misunderstood.

Alun Metford, Head of Global Internal Communications, AstraZeneca said

“Nurturing an inclusive culture is all about removing barriers and empowering a speak-up culture that unlocks ideas and amplifies the passion, commitment, and understanding of employees regardless of role, location, language, or otherwise.

“Technologies, such as Workplace by Facebook, are helping to ensure that everyone has a voice, is more connected and can co-create change – all important considerations for AstraZeneca as we advance one of the strongest and most productive pipelines in our industry to deliver life-changing medicines to patients.”

You can download the report here and read more from Karandeep Anand, VP Workplace, on the findings of the report in a blog post here.


During Nathan’s early career, he gained considerable experience from across many industries including Sales, Teaching and Retail, however more recently Nathan has delved into the world Digital Marketing and Publishing. Drawing on his past experiences, Nathan brings all aspects of his knowledge into Recruitment Buzz, possessing great research and social media skills.

Born and bred in Wales, Nathan is as Welsh as they come – living in the heart of the Valleys, Nathan proudly takes place as our resident Welsh speaker. However, Nathan’s knowledge of global understanding exceeds the Welsh borders, having lived in London, parts of the US and Ecuador.

Nathan is a self-proclaimed geek, having gained a degree in Natural Science via the Open University in Wales. In addition to his passion for science, he has a love for technology, nature, art and of course football!


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