What you need to remember about communicating with your employees is that in order to be effective, you have to prioritize it as a routine task. Go for an internal communication plan rather than a rather than as a one-time, one-off point in a checklist. Effectivity in communication requires effort, thoughtfulness, repetition and, of course, genuine heart and concern.
In as much as you want your employees to hear what you have to say, they also want to be able to have a voice in the company they work for. Effective communication is about creating a dialogue between you and your staff, rather than just giving a speech or sermon.
Here are some effective communication tips to keep in mind when interacting with your staff members:
1. Improving communication between you and your staff entails a weekly correspondence.
Choose either Monday or Friday to communicate with your employees. Start off the week or end it by letting them know about any updates and news that has been going on in the company that concerns them. Employees want to feel that they are truly part of the company, and that they matter enough to be updates. Let them feel that they are in on whatever is going on at work, and also relay to them they are appreciated as productive members of the company.
2. Allow employees to be comfortable enough to tell you what is not working.
Many employees choose not to speak up about what is not effective in the working process due to fear of being cited or even being fired. Let your staff know that you want their input and opinions. While a lot of companies emphasize what is going right in their business, great ones look at what is wrong and dig deeper in order to operate better.
3. Hold regular seminars for both top leaders in the company and employees.
Seminars will allow both top leaders in the company and staff members to fully understand the nature of their work and the company they work for. Seminars are also opportune times to promote team building through group dynamic activities. Not only are you able to promote an engagement action plan and effective communication between you and your staff, you are able to encourage good communication amongst co-workers.
4. Hold an open forum with your staff.
Allow staff members to speak up candidly about their opinions, ideas and concerns. Make sure that the meeting doesn’t turn into a lecture, but rather let it flow into a two-way dialogue. Not only will you learn more about your employees and their concerns, you will also be able to foster trust between yourself and employees. Also, open forums enable staff members to feel more emboldened to say what is on their mind. Be sure to take criticisms and concerns for what they are, and do not be defensive when there are issues brought up.
5. Answer your staff’s email within 24 hours.
Nothing speaks of indifference and lack of concern more than important messages being disregarded or being left unanswered. Employees send you messages about their concerns because they want to feel heard and appreciated, and they want to feel like productive contributors to the company. Show your employees that their ideas and opinions are important to you and the company by answering them within 24 hours. Although you may be busy, commit to doing this at the end of every work day – after all, your busy employees took time off to voice out their concerns and ideas because they are important to them.