Communicate with your employees to build trust
Communication is a key human skill, and we all convey ideas and information in a variety of ways. As a manager it is important to recognise the most appropriate means to communicate with your employees in order to achieve specific goals.
An overarching priority is to create an environment of open communication and feedback. No matter how experienced an employee is, they should feel comfortable asking questions. Encourage your staff to speak up if they are facing problems in the workplace. This gives employees the confidence to discuss any challenges or concerns they may encounter that could impact performance.
Face to face contact takes priority
In a busy office it can be tempting to send off emails to employees. However, a great deal can be lost or misunderstood in emails, and you need to find a balance between electronic means of communication and in-person discussions.
Face to face contact should always take priority, particularly if you are explaining complex matters. Personal conversations also give you an opportunity to read your employee’s body language and facial expressions to confirm whether or not they understand what you are saying.
Explain tasks in person
Employees cannot complete a task appropriately if they don’t have a clear idea of what is expected of them. Take the time to verbally explain to team members what a particular task involves.
Importantly, communicate with your employees about how you would like different tasks to be prioritised. This is particularly valuable during busy periods when staff can feel overwhelmed. By explaining in person, a plan to get things done, your employees don’t have to second-guess your expectations.
Email is useful to communicate key dates or timelines
If you need to inform staff of a time sensitive matter such as completion dates for various stages of a project, aim to communicate with your employees via email or written memos. This gives team members something to refer back to, and ensures everyone knows – and is working towards – the same targets.
Use meetings for whole team matters
Sometimes the most appropriate way to communicate with your employees is in a meeting. This is especially the case if you wish to congratulate individual staff members, or the entire team, on a job well done. Taking the time to acknowledge great work publicly is a powerful reward for those involved, and can inspire other employees to put in their best effort.
Large group meetings held monthly or quarterly can also be a good way to communicate with your employees on matters of collective interest such as the state of the company. Be sure to include a question and answer session in these meetings so that all employees gain a complete and accurate picture of the issues being discussed.
Knowing the best means to communicate with your employees can ensure you get the right message across while still building trust and keeping your team engaged and well-informed.