How can I better Communicate with my Employees?
Communication is the bedrock of an organization, just as it is in personal relationships.
Communication takes place. We communicate all the time, whether we intend to or not. Choosing to say nothing and retreating to your office with the door closed and a sign that says “Do not disturb” delivers a message to those around you. Even though you didn’t say a word.
We know from the frustration of trying to interpret texts in the absence of any other input, that meaning is conveyed in many ways beyond words such as gestures, tone of voice, facial expressions, and actions. Most people are very good at interpreting such non-verbal cues. As a matter of fact, such signals can negate what you actually say. The moral of this story is to be honest in your communications. And do not underestimate your audience. They are not stupid.
Peter Drucker said, “The most important thing in communication is hearing what isn’t said.”
Communication is a two-way street. It is amazing how oftenpeople design newsletters, Webpages, reports, videos and other pronouncements to flow outward but not back in. The audience gets no opportunity to respond. As a result, the initiator gets no feedback about whether the intended audience received the message, understood it, agreed or disagreed with it, was confused, or had a response. In such cases a statement was made but communication did not take place. Of course, managers sometimes do this on purpose because they don’t want to hear dissenting opinions.
Tips to Communication. Communication in a successful organization flows continually, smoothly, genuinely and naturally. What works best in one organization may not be the best alternative for another. But here are some tips to consider as you look for the best ways to communicate with your employees:
- Ask your employees what method of communication they would prefer.
- Identify the method(s) of communication most convenient and effective with your employees.
- Consider how long your employees have to focus on a topic before resuming work.
- Keep your message concise and clear.
- Consider using a variety of modes of communication based on the demographics of your employees and their accessibility to technology.
- Continuing communication is more effective than sporadic messaging.
- Face- to-face communication, when possible, opens the opportunity for an exchange of information and conversation.
Employees typically communicate effectively with their leaders in cultures where the leader shows passion and competence and are deemed trustworthy.
“Trust is the glue of life. It’s the most essential ingredient in effective communication. It’s the foundational principle that holds all relationships.”