LEADERSHIP / JAN. 13, 2015
version 4, draft 4

How to Communicate With Employees as a Manager – Words Matter!

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As the manager, it’s your job to give your employees instructions, keep them headed in the right direction, and push them to work as efficiently as possible. Without good communication skills, you’re going to find this is much harder than you might expect!

The way you communicate with your employees matters, so here are a few tips to help you brush up on your communication skills:

Encourage them to communicate with you

No employee wants to feel that they can only TAKE what you give them, but not say anything back to you. If they have a problem, encourage them to come to you, and genuinely listen to what they say. The best way, to help employees be more open to what you have to say, is by giving them the chance to speak their own piece and be heard.

Evaluate your communication style

Are you a more direct boss who says what needs to be done, or do you prefer to encourage employees to get things done? Neither communication style is wrong, but there are pros and cons to both. Find the weaknesses of your communication style, and strengthen them.

Ask people to ask questions

Many employees won’t feel comfortable offering advice or asking questions on their own, so it’s up to you to prompt them to speak up. When in a meeting or conversing with your employees, try to draw them out by asking if they have anything to say or ask.

Keep your office morale high

If your employees are happy in the office, they’re more likely to work hard and strive to communicate well. Find the things in your office that are bringing down employee morale, and change them as much as possible. With a happy workforce and a professional work environment, you’ll find that there are far fewer problems.

Trim down the info dumps

Don’t overload your employees with a lot of information all at once. Whether you are training them, trying to encourage them to do more or just sharing information, try to limit the info dumps to ONLY pertinent information. Overloading your employees’ brains can cause them to feel overwhelmed, which leads to stress and a breakdown of communication.

Make a conscious effort to be a good boss

You are the boss, but that doesn’t mean you need to be bossy. There are times when you need to give orders, but make a genuine effort to be nice about it. There is a huge difference between giving orders and barking commands. Try to soften your tone, and give the employees a chance to bring up concerns or problems. If there is a genuine reason they cannot do what you are asking, then show them that you understand.

Write

If you struggle with your attempts at friendly communication, why not send all of your instructions via email or memo? You can prevent miscommunication by sending everything in writing, and it will ensure that your employees know EXACTLY what needs to be done. Plus, there will be a record of your asking the employee to carry out that task.

Make it a point to communicate well with your employees, and you’ll find that things around the office run much more smoothly. Good communication is the key to happy workers, and happy employees are the most productive kind!

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