Top tips for delivering effective communication
Employee communication is an essential part of your role as a leader or manager. However, if you get it wrong, you risk leaving employees feeling frustrated, misunderstood and disconnected – and ultimately, that affects productivity.
Do it right, and you’ll reap the benefits. Effective communication creates a culture of trust, and that has a significant effect on employee engagement.
“The art of communication, is the language of leadership”
Ineffective communication is a big concern amongst employees. According to the Gallup 2016 report titled the State of the American Workplace, only 13% of employees agreed that their leaders were effectively communicating with the organisation. These are shocking stats – see the full report here:
So how can you be an effective communicator, and keep your employees feeling engaged? See our top 3 tips:
1. Know your audience
There’s a variety of ways to communicate within an organisation, but it really depends on what type of message you’re trying to deliver.
To start with, if you understand the perspective of the people you’re talking to, this helps you become a more effective communicator. When speaking or presenting to your team, ask yourself, ‘what does my team want, or need to hear?’ ‘What do they care about?’
Once you have an understanding of this, you can tailor your message accordingly. Think about using different channels for different people as well - some might prefer a meeting instead of an email, or maybe a workshop instead of a presentation. It’s also important to remember that when communicating, use examples that your audience can relate to - they’ll be much more likely to respond positively.
2. Don’t deliver and run!
After delivering your message, it’s essential that you give people the opportunity to ask questions. This is the time to start actively listening - not just passively hearing what they’re saying!
When people feel like they’ve been heard, they feel valued. This also helps build trust in a relationship, which is key part of improving employee engagement.
So make it your business to understand what your team are saying – their concerns, challenges, and what really motivates them. Show them that you’re listening by using non-verbal messages too. This includes keeping eye contact, positive body language, and mirroring facial expressions.
Another way to show that you’re listening, is to paraphrase and summarise when they’re finished. This is a great way to show that you’ve understood. Try starting your sentence ‘so what you’re saying is….’
3. Follow up meetings
Finally, it’s important to note that people don’t naturally remember things. It’s human nature. According to Edgar Dale’s Cone of Learning (1969), we only remember 20% of what we heard, after 2 weeks – or 50% of we saw and heard. So help people out, and remind them what has been communicated by sending out some notes, using short, concise bullet points.
Effective communication is important for your business. To get the best out of people, they need to feel connected to your organisation. If you’re not sure how successful you are at communication, why not ask the question? Asking people for feedback is a step in the right direction for cultivating a culture of trust and respect.
If you want to know more about improving communication in the workplace, visit www.passionforperformance.co.uk and get in touch for an informal chat.
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