As a manager, making sure your employees are on the same page as you is absolutely critical to business success. It can be easy to get lost in the day-to-day minutiae of work and forget your employees rely on you to set the standards for communication, so if you feel your employees aren’t always right there with you, here are some ways you can use to get them (and yourself) back on track.
1. Think Before You Speak
When a crisis looms on the horizon, it’s easy and understandable to want to react emotionally rather than rationally. But these times are the exact times you need to take a step back, review the situation from a dispassionate perspective, and think carefully about what you want to say before you speak.
Your employees won’t necessarily remember exactly what you say in these times, but they will remember how you made them feel, so it’s important to not just react off the cuff, but in a measured, thoughtful, and helpful way.
“Planning is everything when it comes to speaking in crisis situations. Take the heat off by considering beforehand exactly what you’re going to say, and even have some scripts prepared for possible issues. You’ll be calmer and be able to calm your employees better.” – Jason Stromberg, HR Manager, Elite Assignment Help
2. Critique In Private
One of the most difficult things you have to do as a manager is provide negative feedback or criticism to your employees. This should always be done in private on a one-on-one basis. Your message should avoid the employee’s personality or traits and instead focus on what the employee can do to improve.
End the meeting on as high a note as possible, and reassure them that you’ve got their back and you’re sure they can follow the instructions you’ve given. They will take the message to heart far more effectively if they’re not put on the defensive by how you’ve delivered it. A little sympathy when delivering difficult messages goes a long way.
3. Praise In Public
On the other hand, when one of your employees has done something praiseworthy, make your recognition of it as public as you can. You want to make your employee feel wonderful, and inspire other employees to do likewise.
4. Communicate Weekly
Don’t let a week go by without sending your employees an email keeping them up-to-date on important things going on in your business. This email should be personally engaging, and should feel like it’s truly coming from you as an individual. If you need a hand with writing up a personal email to your staff, Revieweal is a good site to go to.
There are also many useful business writing resources available online. If you’re new to the art of writing thoughtful, heartfelt emails to inspire and motivate your staff, write up a first draft, then use writing tools to revise it until it says what you want it to say. With practice, this will become easier.
5. Meet Regularly
Getting in the habit of meeting with your employees regularly will be fantastic for employee morale. It just needs to be a staff meeting once a month or so, with a written agenda, developed in cooperation with your staff and distributed before the meeting. This provides a way for employees to raise any potential issues for discussion in a group setting and can provide a forum for you to “clear the air” in case there is anything causing problems for your employees.
6. Open The Door
It’s absolutely crucial to not just maintain an open-door policy but to ensure that your employees know that they can come to you about anything at any time. Remind people of your open-door policy frequently, and if that doesn’t bring people to you, reach out to them, even if it’s just saying good morning when you come in. People will be far more likely to approach you if they feel you will welcome them.
7. Write It Down
So, you’ve shared what you need to with your employees verbally. Great, now follow up by writing it down and sending it out to them in an email or another form of communication. If you’re a little unsure when it comes to grammar, you can check it online at Grammarix.
Most people will benefit from getting the information twice in different formats, and some people are visually-oriented and will remember written communication far better than verbal. In addition, staff members who weren’t there for your meeting will get the information this way, rather than having to rely on others to pass on the message.
“Different people learn in different ways, so it’s best to provide any information you want people to remember in at least two of three ways: verbally, visually, or with action.” – Jamie Lee, Communication Manager, Top Canadian Writers
In conclusion, taking the time to communicate with your employees is critical to your business success and crucial to your employees remaining happy to work for you. Keep it calm, do it regularly, let your personality shine through, try different things, and you’ll find your employees have smiles on their faces when they come through the door every morning.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Rachel Summers, a social media manager for the last seven years, has worked with many companies both large and small, including leading custom writing service UK Top Writers. In her free time, Rachel advises small businesses and start-ups on social media strategies. You can find more articles on her website.