In a prior post, 10 Things Your Employees Wish You Understood About Communicating with Them – Part One, we began exploring the ways that managers can improve productivity, employee satisfaction and overall organizational culture by improving the way they communicate.
In this Part Two post we’ll add the second five:
6. STAY THE COURSE
Too often, upper management sees their role as providing the vision of the company for the rest of the workforce. But this tactic gets out of hand when there is too much brainstorming and not enough performance. If you are going to put forth an idea and get employees excited about it, be prepared to stay the course and see it through. You don’t want to get buy-in from your staff, then get distracted by other things and lose interest.
7. BE COURTEOUS
There is an old saying that it’s nice to be important, but it’s also important to be nice. This goes for the corporate setting as well. Employees already know that you are in a position of power; you don’t need to exercise your freedom by being rude to others. If an employee is shot down or belittled in a meeting for asking a question, communication will be gravely hindered. Treat your employees with the same respect you reserve for your customers. Your company will benefit from improved employee retention.
8. BE FORTHCOMING
Even bad news should be given in a straightforward manner. If employees are forced to read between the lines again and again, trust is broken. Whatever the news, don’t hide what is going on or good employee communications will be replaced with the rumor mill.
9. BE OBJECTIVE
Sometimes it can be difficult to treat all employees equally and fairly in all situations. Some personalities may simply appeal to you more than others. But strive to be completely objective when it counts, such as when evaluating performance. Try to avoid pre-conceived notions of what an employee may say or how they may react. Stay objective and acknowledge a job well done. Word about your fairness will soon get around.
10. SHARE YOUR PLAN, NOT JUST YOUR VISION
As a business leader, it’s important you have the ability to plan strategically for the long-term success of your business. This means a lot of creative thinking and number crunching. While you may feel at ease providing vision of your hopes for the business, when it comes to the details of how to get there, words often don’t flow as easily. But it is important for you to lay out a long-term plan, not just for your board or advisors, but for your employees as well. Don’t fear negative impacts or questions. Getting employee input can be extremely helpful to the planning process.
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