The Do’s and Don’ts of Effective Employee Communication

New Year’s resolutions related to business and the workplace should take priority right after the holidays. To this effect, one particular resolution that should be undertaken by company owners, managers and supervisors alike should be to become more skilled at communicating with employees in 2017.

By virtue of their hierarchy within the company, managers, supervisors and business principals should set an example of efficient workplace communications.

The best approach to improving dialog and the exchange of information in the workplace is to review what should be said, how it should be expressed, and what not to do when addressing staff members. In other words, it is important to review what to do and what not to do in this regard.

  • What To Do

The following strategies should be applied with two things in mind: productivity and good relations. In general, it is better to keep good relations before tackling issues of productivity.

  • Listening Before Speaking

Before engaging in any type of employee communications, employers and managers should learn to listen. It is more important to get and assimilate information that to issue it. One way to make listening a priority is to start conversations with small talk followed by a question and a request for an opinion. When the time comes to listen, the receiver should take a moment to assimilate and process the information received, asking questions for clarification.

  • Observe Reactions

Remembering to apply a smile whenever the situations allows should be the first step in workplace communications; the second should be to observe the reaction to the smile. Employees who smile back, perk up and nod will likely enjoy receiving such communications in the future. Other employees may be a little dubious of smiles; if they seem slightly puzzled is because they probably would like to be addressed in a more serious manner. The key is to remember these reactions in future exchanges with each staff member.

  • Choose the Best Communicators

Some managers and supervisors have earned their staff positions by being gregarious, charismatic and personable. Company owners and directors should select the best communicators among their staff and appoint them to be spokespersons. An even better approach would be to hire someone who is skilled in public relations.

  • Positive Feedback

All workplace communications should be positive unless they are related to crisis management and ultra-sensitive situations. Feedback should never be negative; this could be the kiss of death for just about any organization, particularly when the job market does not favor employers. If corrective action is needed, feedback should be delivered in a way that is constructive and jovial.

  • What Not to Do

In essence, any situation that runs counter to the recommendations listed above should be avoided; nonetheless, the following advice should he heeded as well.

  • Play the Blame Game

According to Howell Marketing Strategies, during a time of crisis or when a business process does not develop as planned, the worst thing to do would be to point fingers in an effort to avoid criticism. If something did not work out due to a collective deficiency or due to market conditions, the best approach is to move on to the next process or to fix any damage caused.

  • Tech Jargon and Obfuscation

Unless a staff is already accustomed to jargon, slang, abbreviations, and codes, managers should refrain from using language that not everyone will understand.

  • Expect Responses to Every Written Communication

Some organizations work better when they receive emails as broadcasts. If responses are required per company policy, all employees should be briefed accordingly. It is crucial to reach a consensus on what type of communications staff members feel more comfortable with. For the most part, young workers from the Millennial Generation prefer informal communications on collaborative platforms such as Slack and Microsoft Teams.