Has this ever happened to you?
You get an email from your manager with a directive that, in your mind, sounds abrupt and challenging. You immediately bristle and want to rebel against the request.
Meanwhile…on the other end of the email your manager believes that they sent a clear and concise email that communicates what they want and when they want it. No problem whatsoever.
This communication disconnect, often caused by technology, is the root of many unhappy professional relationships.
And it is 100% solvable.
When you’re communicating with your employees keep these simple tips in mind.
- Listen. Your employees want to know that their ideas are valuable and that their concerns are valid. Create an environment where employees feel comfortable approaching you, in person, to discuss their jobs. Don’t let it stop there. After you’ve listened to them actively create change.
- Be honest. Somewhere along the line we got this idea that being kind was more important than being honest and this has created a culture of attempting to spare people’s feelings by being passive aggressive. It doesn’t work. When you talk to someone about their work they will appreciate your honestly more than disingenuous kindness.
- Keep it simple. Directives and instructions at the workplace should be kept simple so everyone, no matter what their experience or learning style, can completely comprehend what is being asked. You don’t have to talk down to your employees but keep communication simple and more people will find the project easy.
- Be both interested and interesting. Always remember that communication is a 2-way street. If you want your employees to be comfortable communicating with you, you need to establish a culture where you’re communicating with them. Develop messages that will engage your employees and also be genuinely interested when they speak with you.
Think through these tips when you’re about to send your next email. Consider skipping the email all together and speaking to your team in person. Once you foster an environment of positive communication you’ll notice a chance in your employees’ behavior almost immediately.
Whatever you do, don’t forget the little things.
If you want to know more about employee engagement in your office I can help. Contact me for motivational speaking and management coaching today!