One of the most under-appreciated aspects of running a successful business is communication. For your business to be successful, you need strong and effective communication with your employees. When your employees understand your goals and feel like their opinions matter, they’re far more likely to reach their potential and this means an increase in productivity.
No matter how your communication is now, there are always ways to improve. Here are six key tips on how you can maintain effective communication with all your employees.
When you have open communication with your employees, it builds trust and makes them feel valued. On the other hand, if you simply delegate tasks and don’t get your employees’ input, they won’t perform at their best. Telling your employees why you need the task done instead of just telling them to do something will bring a greater sense of respect for you as management as well.
You can foster open communication by encouraging employees to contribute in meetings, whether that meeting consists of just a few people or a large group. It’s also helpful to set a goal for all your employees to work towards. This builds a team atmosphere where everyone contributes and communicates with each other, instead of having teams working independently.
- Ensure that Your Attitude Makes You Approachable
Most of our communication is nonverbal, and telling employees they can talk to you means nothing if your body language says otherwise. It’s important to always be conscious of your attitude and what you’re projecting to your employees.
If you’re short with them or constantly in a hurry, your employees won’t feel comfortable communicating with you. Focus on maintaining a friendly, positive attitude at all times so that your employees know that they can always talk to you.
Effective communicators get to the point and make their messages clear. Your goal should always be to get your message across clearly with as little technical jargon as possible, whether you’re talking to an employee in person or sending an email.
When you say too much or use technical terms an employee may not understand, you’re just increasing the odds that there will be a miscommunication. This is one area where keeping it simple is the better option.
- Welcome Feedback and Take It Seriously
Employee feedback is great for your business. You never know when your employees will notice something that you didn’t – perhaps there’s a flaw in that product that didn’t cross your mind, but was obvious to an employee right away.
But to get legitimate employee feedback, you need them to know that they can communicate with you and even critique your ideas freely. That’s why you should be appreciative of their feedback and take it seriously. You want your employees to know that you value their opinions. You may want to implement an anonymous feedback program as well to make sure that your employees feel comfortable giving feedback.
Communication isn’t some task that you can check off your list. It’s part of your company’s culture, and you’ll be the one to set that culture.
There are a few excellent methods to set a culture that emphasises communication. Team huddles for between 10 and 15 minutes at the beginning of a shift get the day started on the right foot. In these huddles, you can go over the plan and goals for the day. It’s also good to talk to employees one on one to see how they’re doing, even employees who don’t report to you directly. A quick meeting with the boss can help keep an employee’s morale high. By doing these steps, you can help ensure that open communication becomes a part of your company’s culture.
- Keep Your Employees Updated Regularly
All too often, business leaders keep their employees in the dark about what’s going on with the company. This leaves employees feeling like they’re only there to do a job, and it creates a barrier between the management and everyone else.
Your employees will feel more connected to the company when you keep them updated about what’s going on. Let them know about the results of projects. Thank and congratulate them for successes, and be honest when something doesn’t go as planned instead of trying to spin it.
Effective communication with your employees isn’t hard when you know what to do and you’re willing to make the necessary changes. Take a look at how everyone communicates at your business right now to see where there are areas you can make improvements. Implement any of these tips that you haven’t already been doing and it won’t take long before you’re seeing better communication and higher productivity.
About the author
Ryan Bridges is a contributing writer and media specialist for Presentation Training Institute. He regularly produces content for a variety of communication and workplace blogs, based around the challenges of creating effective communication in the workplace.