Businesses typically put a great deal of time and resources into customer communications, from elaborate public relations plans to customer surveys. But when it comes to internal communications—those formal and informal means by which employers communicate with staff—communication is often taken for granted. Employees have a critical impact on the outcome of every project, as well as the overall success of your business. Unfortunately, it’s easy for an organization’s leaders to fumble the ball when attempting to improve employee communications.
Here are 10 things your workforce probably wishes you knew about communicating with them:
- Be Concise: Employees don’t like walking away wondering exactly what you meant or how your commentary fits into the project they just asked you about.
- Understand Your Employees: No two employees are exactly alike. This should be taken into consideration when communicating with them. Fine-tune your communication using messaging that is most likely to elicit a positive response.
- Be Timely: Whether you are delaying a decision on a salary request or need to provide feedback on a project’s milestone, give the task the priority it deserves.
- Be Consistent: There are not many things more frustrating to an employee than inconsistency from supervisors. Put a standard process in place, take notes when you meet with employees so you can recall what you said previously, and stay consistent with your messaging.
- Identify Value: Identifying value is important because it helps you establish the goals of each project milestone without focusing too heavily on what may be a small role for any individual employee.
- Stay the Course: 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.
- 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 authority by being rude to others.
- Be Forthcoming: 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.
- Be Objective: Some personalities may simply appeal to you more than others. But strive to be completely objective when it counts, such as when evaluating performance.
- Share Your Plan, Not Just Your Vision: 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 outcomes or questions. Getting employee input can be extremely helpful in the planning process.
Everyone loves a good bonus, so here is a bonus tip!
- Thank Your Employees: Everyone likes to feel appreciated, so make employee thank you messages part of your regular routine. Sending each employee a customized thank you message will make them feel appreciated and confident in their work.