Employees are a company’s most vital and important resource. They make the engine run, so to speak, carrying out the core business objectives and helping a company become successful. Mastering the art of communicating effectively (especially if they have their online communication degree) with employees honors their important role in a business by increasing employee engagement, a key factor in employee retention and success.
Effective communication with employees can improve using these five tips
The art of actively listening to employees puts the emphasis of communication on what the employee says and feels rather than what the employer wants to say. Often, active listening is defined by not “waiting to speak,” but rather waiting to respond.
A key attribute of active listening is paraphrasing or reflecting back to the speaker what he or she has just said to check for understanding. Listeners should paraphrase the main points or use their own words to make sure they understood the speaker and to show the speaker they were listening.
Actively listening to employees helps them feel their ideas have been heard and matter just as much to the organization as anyone else. It can also provide valuable feedback to employers.
Talk With Employees, Not Down to Them
Employees earned their jobs through a rigorous employment process and were chosen because they have worth to the company. Communication with employees should recognize their worth by talking to them at their level.
Communications that talk down to employees, assume misbehavior, or that use scolding language can turn employees off to the message. Instead, recognize that employees are adults and have high levels of expertise, training and experience in their fields.
Opportunities for Feedback
Communication implies a two-way process, and employees need opportunities to give meaningful feedback. Employers can collect feedback:
- In writing;
- And via technology like web surveys or email.
Employers should then reflect the feedback by either taking action on it or providing a response to employees.
Keeping employees in the dark about major business decisions communicates one thing to employees: they don’t matter. Employees need access to information to do their jobs effectively. If they feel like the employer has something to hide, they will experience anxiety and likely won’t do their jobs as effectively.
By sharing key information, employees feel respected and may even step up to help solve challenges with innovative new ideas.
Recognition and Praise
Honoring the contributions of employees is an effective and simple way to build relationships at work. All people want to know their efforts have been noticed, and will likely work harder after receiving praise or recognition.
To give praise effectively, give it publicly, tailor the recognition to the individual, provide recognition as close as possible to the actual achievement, and highlight how the recognition connects to specific accomplishments.
Communicating effectively leads to greater employee engagement and helps a company maximize the value of their most valuable resource, their people.