Deborah Peppard - HR Director
Communication is the exchange of understanding. What this really means is that what you’ve communicated to an employee has been received in the way that you intended, and that you’ve gotten a response back to let you know that that’s the case.
Anything less isn’t communication. It’s just making noises with your mouth. Those noises can cost you time and money so you want to make sure they are being understood.
There are three major mistakes managers make when communicating:
1. Not dealing with uncertainty.
Rumours are fuelled when there’s obvious change at work that managers aren’t talking about. This fires up anxiety and hoses down trust. Be clear about what’s going on, talk openly about the future, and seek your employees’ feedback. Listen with empathy and act on it. According to Human Synergistics, Aussie managers have the highest rate of avoidance leadership in the western world. It’s time to prove them wrong.
2. Relying too much on email as a communication tool.
Try and avoid the use of email as much as possible. It’s amazing how a tool that has revolutionised productivity in workplaces around the world has now become a hindrance to the very productivity it created.
Relationships, which are the cornerstone of employee engagement, are fostered via face-to-face communication where subtle body language queues play an important role when it comes to imparting messages. Email also tends to distort your tone, where what you intend to communicate isn’t the message that’s delivered - the written word is very easy to misinterpret.
3. Making decisions without explanations.
Managers running a hectic business, rushed off their feet and in the heat of the moment, can’t be blamed for issuing instructions without a second’s thought. But the possibility of any decisions and directions being embraced by your team are reduced significantly when you don’t take the time to explain the reasons behind them. Provide your employees with clarity on your thinking so there’s no calamity in their thinking.
Think about how you deliver your messages. Are you connecting with your team? Do you they truly understand your intent and are they engaged in the process. Provide clarity, speak with them when possible and clear up any doubt and without doubt, you will see improvement in your team's responses.
In order to make changes to your style or to an entrenched cultural communication process, you need to be aware of mistakes being made. But sometimes extra help may be needed and if this is the case, call or email us and we will help you with an appropriate solution tailored to meet the needs of your business.
The HR Staff n' Stuff team all contribute to our blogs. Enjoy the read!