Develop & Maintain a Communication Strategy to Keep Your Workers Fully Engaged
8 Ways to Communicate Better with Your Employees
Communication in the workspace is arguably the most important factor in
the success of a company. Even so, many companies don’t take necessary
steps to make sure its communication strategy is well thought out and
flexible. Here are eight suggestions to improve communication by taking
down barriers that tend to exist in many businesses.
Create an environment of open communication where opinions are valued and not judged or punished.
In many cases, employees don't communicate the proper information to their superiors simply because they don’t wish to disappoint them or they disagree with them. Employees need to know they can communicate something disappointing without fear of losing their jobs or some other punishment. Many employees won’t give an honest opinion if they know it goes against their supervisor. Push your employees to punch holes in the product and reward them for good ideas.
One thing many managers tend to do is give out a lot of work and expect
employees to prioritize and deliver. This is generally a bad practice.
Employees don’t necessarily know what the priority is and it often
leaves them overwhelmed. As a manager, think of a plan to get the work
done without overloading those under your management.
Emotions can play a big role in efficiency and productivity. Managers
can’t necessarily control what happens to employees when they leave the
office, but they can play a big role in office morale. If employees are
happy, they will be more productive. Be careful to not keep things in
the office too casual or comfortable as this tends to make employees
lazy, but do ensure that employees feel safe and have the tools to
accomplish their goals.
Very often new employees find themselves having to learn their job, with
the added barriers of trying to figure out what people are saying.
Using acronyms and slang may make things more efficient when speaking
directions, but for a new employee, translating this can be a drag on
productivity. Once employees become a little more familiar with these
terms, then using them is fine, of course.
Employees have to be able to ask questions. It doesn’t matter how
experienced they are, there will be questions, and they should be able
to ask them without feeling like they are annoying their manager. Make
sure when questions are asked, the employee realizes that their question
was taken seriously, and that it wasn’t annoying or in any way
inappropriate to ask.
A big communication gap can between managers and employees can occur with verbal instructions. When possible, communicate via email, text message, post it, or some other written communication. Make sure if something is time sensitive to include the time and date the instruction was given. This helps the employee by giving them something to refer to long after the manager is gone.
This is also important for the manager, so she knows the instructions were given to the employee, so if the project doesn’t get completed, there is a clear understanding of where the problem lies.
If there is a clear goal that employees need to meet, communication will be less of a problem because the goals automatically set a communication path. If a goal is set to have something done by a certain time, and that time comes and nothing is said, then the project probably didn’t get finished and the manager will have to address the issue with the employee. If it gets completed, then the completion of the goal is communication itself.
It’s impossible to fix communication problems if you can’t recognize the problems as they happen. Let employees know what kind of communication you expect back from them. Set up a system where they will respond back to you with certain information at certain times. Talk frequently with your staff and make sure they understand what kind of communication you expect from them.
Remember, the Manager/Employee relationship is just that; a relationship. Everyone communicates differently, and it is up to the manager to figure out those differences and work with them or change them. When the time comes to communicate about salary, that's where Salary.com for Business can help.