Great Communicators: How To Connect With Your Employees

Closing The Gap

In many businesses there exists a wide gap between employees and those who manage them. That gap is bridged with communication, but this is easier to observe than to implement. Communication involves vulnerability, and it also involves a back-and-forth exchange of information. However, managers have a “weight” that favors them in conversation.

If you’ve got an employee who you manage, then the way in which a conversation or email chain goes could result in their termination from your company. Whether or not the subject matter of communication is so dire, this will always be in the back of the worker’s mind. It will either exist there in submission or defiance, but this is a thought pattern that will be present.

Accordingly, getting a straight answer can be difficult. The worse you are at communicating, the more operational hindrances will present themselves in the day-to-day, and these without the intention of employees. They don’t mean to throw up a roadblock, they’re just “covering their bases”, as it were.

Also, if you’re not a good communicator, you leave yourself open. People are going to try and get away with things if they can. Should you have vagueness define any of your directives, then you give underhanded personnel opportunity to be “dumb like a fox”, and “get away” with things. Clear communication eliminates this gray area, and so we’ll examine how to effect it.

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Build A Real Relationship

When you’ve got real relationships with personnel, they’re more likely to open up in an honest, vulnerable way with you. If they understand you as a person, this decreases their fear in telling you when they make a mistake. Additionally, it may give them greater comfort in speaking up when they get an idea worth considering.

Building relationships isn’t something you can do synthetically, though. You’ve got to sit down with personnel, watch them as they work, commend them when they do well, and approach extra-occupational activity in a professional way which at the same time isn’t bound by the rigors of operation.

Sometimes fraternization is your best way of building real relationships. However, this isn’t the same for all businesses—especially those in the intelligence sector. In such spheres, compartmentalization and standardization are key. Even so, real relationships between management and personnel foster better communication.

Start Communication Facilitation Prior Employment

Before you hire anybody, know who you’re looking for. During the interview process, it can be worthwhile to seek a connection. Now this isn’t always the case. Sometimes you want to hire someone who isn’t a good communicator, owing to their overall skill in the desired position you’re trying to fill. However, it’s not a bad thing to connect with someone during a job interview.

What you want to do is have enough candidates that you can find the interviewee you get along with, and who additionally fits the needs of your business. Applicant tracking software can be key here. Try Applicant Tracking Systems to filter most suitable candidates among huge work offer. It can help you find employees more likely to be the kind with whom you can communicate.

Also, for long-term work, employee tracking tools are necessary . Decentralized operations are making long-distance employees commonplace, and you may never even meet them! But communication is still something which can be effectively facilitated through technology, and optimized through best practices.

Be As Transparent As Possible

The more transparent you are, the more comfortable employees will be in bringing issues to you. If they don’t know why you tell them to do what you do, and you “bite the head off” anyone who brings negative news, guess what?

Nobody will tell you when bad things happen that need your attention, and no one will build any relationships with you because they don’t know how to. Additionally, a lack of transparency often results in mistrust and fear. When directives aren’t clear, and purposes are unpredictable, that makes a person uneasy.

Practice What You “Preach”

Whatever you tell employees to do, you should do as well. When they see you follow your own rules, they’ll feel more comfortable interacting with you. However, if you tell employees to be on time every day, and you never get to the office at the same hour yourself, then the employee is more likely to give you lip service and do what they can get away with.

They won’t communicate as well with a boss who doesn’t do as he says, because they’ll have less trust and respect. Accordingly, if they can get away with something, they will, and that involves putting up a communication wall to avoid being found out. But if you practice what you preach, personnel can’t put up such a wall without acting in bad-faith, so they’re less likely to.

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Opening Up Lines Of Communication

Communication is difficult. Technology adversely affects mental health, and it’s sucking people away from real interactions and into synthetic digital ones. It was hard enough before. The modern atmosphere produces people even more disinclined to communicate well.

You’re going to have your work cut out for you even if you hire right and practice all the tips mentioned here. However, a concerted approach will yield a definite result. You can facilitate better communication. 

  • Updated July 26, 2019
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