We all have to work at communication skills, whether it’s at work or in our personal lives. But if you’re in an executive or management position, you will be expected to clearly communicate with all your employees. Unclear communication can frustrate and derail your employees from completing their tasks effectively. You can improve your employee relations across the company by implementing these practices into your daily communications:
Use as many channels as you need to reach all employees. Some people check their emails religiously. Others prefer a face-to-face interactions before they communicate digitally. Relay important messages through a combination of communication methods, including face-to-face, email, text, and message boards. And if someone has questions, make sure you answer in a way that is most appropriate for the situation.
Write clearly and concisely. In written communication, using technical jargon or long letters/emails can deter from your message, making the content unclear to your reader. Use short sentences, with a style that is easy to understand quickly. If you’re sending an email, your employees will likely skim over it, only reading the highlighted sections. Clear and direct written communication reduces the need for follow up.
Keep records of your communications. It’s best practice to send important information via email, letter, or if necessary by recording your conversations. That way, if there is ever a discrepancy you can refer to the original document for clarification. Companies practice this when they record customer calls for quality assurance. You should do the same with your employees so any miscommunication can be solved promptly.
Communicate in advance. There are few things that employees hate more than feeling rushed or pressured. If you wait until the last minute to communicate, you should expect disgruntled employees and mediocre work. And if you communicate last minute, take responsibility if the results are not what you wanted.
Invite questions/feedback. If you announce an important company decision, make sure your employees know who they can contact for further questions. Communications regarding certain issues should come from different departments, and the head of that department should initiate the message and respond to all questions or suggestions. It makes employees feel much better if the end of an important email is signed with a contact name, rather that sent by a “no-reply” email.
Address problems before or as they arise. If you’re faced with a difficult company decision, or are aware of a potential problem for your employees, address these before they become significant issues. Employees want to be prepared for changes in their work life. If you communicate problems as they occur, and not after they have caused damage to the company, then your employees will feel a greater trust for those making the decisions that affect their jobs.
At the very least, remember to always be honest with your employees. Even if news is bad, they deserve to know what is going on at all levels of your organization. To receive trust you must give it, so always remember to trust your employees and be truthful when communicating them. If you follow these best practices, then you should minimize communication problems and build a better culture within your business.