Maintaining ongoing communication at all levels of your organization is a key aspect of building trust, boosting morale, and fostering employee engagement and job satisfaction. Without it, people don’t know what’s going on within their company or what’s expected of them day to day. This can lead to a variety of toxic issues including declining performance and ultimately, higher turnover.
It Starts at the Top
Effective employee communication begins at the top of your company and cascades down, as well as horizontally between departments so there are no silos or vacuums. Employees should naturally look up to their supervisors when they need direction or information.
- Make sure all your managers are committed to open, ongoing communication. They should be visible and available to all employees. Make “management by walking around” their normal MO. This means stopping to talk with people on a regular, informal basis as well as scheduling forums like town hall and staff meetings to keep dialogue flowing.
- Have an open door policy. Encourage and enable employees to come to their managers at any time with questions or for support, expertise or problem solving. This reinforces your commitment to taking employee concerns seriously. Plus, it keeps you in the loop regarding what’s really happening out there day to day and gives you ready access to people’s ideas and suggestions.
It’s a Two-Way Process
Ask for employee feedback regularly. This is especially important when you’re implementing a new program or project. Ask people whether they fully understand the messages being delivered, particularly when they relate to change.
- Balance transparency with confidentiality. Hold open-ended meetings that give each team member the opportunity to speak and share concerns, ideas and accomplishments. But at the same time, make people feel safe about coming to management with issues, knowing that their privacy will be protected. Show sensitivity to whatever they are going through and validate their feelings.
- Employees who feel they can talk to one another and to their managers without fear of reprisal are more likely to identify potential problems and nip them in the bud. Those who are kept informed about any obstacles in the company’s future can generate innovative ideas for overcoming them. And, open communication makes it easier for managers to step in when any conflicts arise that are too big for employees to resolve on their own.
More Tips for Effective Communication
Here are a few more suggestions for keeping communication lines open at your company:
- Find out what works best for your employees. Ask them what kinds of communication methods they prefer; for instance, email or text messages, daily check-ins, weekly newsletters and/or monthly meetings. Try to work their preferences into your overall communication strategy.
- Be direct and straightforward. Don’t beat around the bush or try and sugarcoat, even when delivering negative news. Your employees will respect your honesty, even if they don’t always agree with or like the message.
Last but not least, effective communications begins with hiring communicators who naturally open up the lines and keep all their team members working together. To achieve optimal communications when hiring – or to improve your current employee communications process – contact the expert team at TRC Professional Solutions today.