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Internal communication: building trust, commitment, and a positive reputation through relationship management with employees

Authors
Publisher
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Library
Publication Date
Disciplines
  • Communication
  • Law

Abstract

Relationship management is the practice of building strong relationships with important publics, including employees. It is expected that richer communication flowing between both employees and management will enhance feelings of trust between management and employees, ultimately resulting in stronger commitment to each other and to the organization. In addition, these feelings of trust and commitment will lead to a more positive reputation for the firm, as employees are happy to be employed by the organization and in turn, share their positive feelings with customers and other stakeholders. This relationship management effort is thought to build long-term relationships for the mutual benefit of an organization and its stakeholders. As employees have been thought to have more credibility with the public as representatives of the organization than corporate communications efforts, their opinions can influence other stakeholders to have a more positive opinion about the reputation of the firm. Internal communication describes this goal of communicating richly with employees to engage them in the priorities of the organization. Face-to-face communication was found to be the best method for building close relationships with employee publics. This study incorporates findings from employee interviews, executive interviews, as well as a large-scale survey of employees to better understand the role of rich communication in the context of relationship management with employees.

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