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Understanding the conversation gap:
Why employees aren't talking and what we can do about it

How to cultivate a workplace culture that supports open and honest dialogue—and why it will improve employee engagement, productivity, retention, and your bottom line.

Across industries and sectors, 70% of employees are routinely avoiding conversations about the situations they’re facing at work—particularly around issues surrounding performance, growth, interpersonal relationships, and company culture.

Studies point to a variety of factors that widen this conversation gap, as well as the financial costs associated with a lack of healthy dialogue. In this report, we explore a number of these causes and effects, including:

  • The lack of trust between employers and employees and how this impacts crucial conversations
  • The ways in which employee engagement is directly linked to productivity and retention, and how “conversational culture” plays a role
  • The power dynamics that discourage employees from speaking up, fearing retribution tied to opportunity or compensation
  • What employers can do to encourage proactive and productive dialogue, preparing employees for difficult conversations