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Effective Communication between Managers and Staff

Published on 24 Mar 2018

Communication skills are integral to any business transaction and therefore it can be said that effective communication are an important part of running a successful business.

Effective communication is what helps managers to perform the basic functions of management – planning, organising, motivating and leading. Often the focus is on the communication with clients and business partners and there is not the same emphasis placed on internal communication.

Effective internal communication is a major factor in ensuring your business has well performing and happy staff but it needs to be driven by you, the manager.

Here are 5 tips for improving and creating effective internal communication:

1. Meet frequently with staff – this can as formal or informal as you'd like to make it but staff need to know what the business expectations are of them, how they are performing, business goals and targets. It also allows the team to collaborate on discussion points and opens the lines of communication. Set the meeting, send an invite, create an agenda – get them thinking before the meeting, don’t spring it on them.

It is important to note that in certain circumstances some communication is more appropriate for one on one meetings such as individual performance reviews, discipline and conflict resolution matters.

2. Open door policy – if you want staff to communicate with you, you need to be accessible. An open door policy is vital to not creating the dreaded ivory tower syndrome. You want staff to know they can approach you with questions, queries, concerns and complaints at any time. It shows that you value their concerns and you are always willing to communicate. This style of management can have a very positive impact on performance and morale.

3. Provide updates – keeping staff informed of changes, projects, feedback, events, ideas and happenings in and around the office helps to keep everyone on the same page. This can be as simple as a weekly email update.

4. Communication style – be mindful of your style of communication. Don’t be dismissive of staff when they attempt to communicate with you – reply to the emails and return phone calls with the respect they deserve. Listen to staff, don’t talk over them even if you don’t agree with what they are saying. Let them have their say. Be mindful of your non-verbal communication style such as shrugging your shoulders, standing with your arms crossed, looking at your watch, rolling your eyes or walking away are all indications of you openness and willingness to communicate – or the lack of it.

5. Lead by example – you need to build credibility, trust and respect in order for staff to feel as though they can effectively communicate with you. Follow through on what you say you will do, only promise what you can deliver, admit when you are wrong, give credit when credit is due and never talk down to staff in front of others. If an issue is raised, deal with it. Use the lines of communication you have opened (or are working on opening) to resolve it effectively. Don’t be a ‘do as I say and not as I do’ manager.

Once staff can see you are communicating effectively with them they will feel empowered to do the same, and this makes for a happier, healthier and more productive workplace for all.