Monday, April 11, 2011

How to Communicate With Your Employees Effectively

You don't have to be an extrovert to foster healthy communication in your company. You just simply need a will to improve it. You need to be honest, showing respect to employees and work on building trust. There are helpful habits and practices that engender good communication as well as helpful tips on conveying your messages effectively.

According to Rick Galbreath, HR consultant from Illinois; Strive to be transparent and straightforward to the extent possible about the challenges of your company including the financials. It's always a common case that being the boss, your employees know you make more money than they do, but what they don't understand is that you take more risk. Employees won't be able to understand the business.

A scheduled informal communication of at least 15 minutes daily or more if you can spare it is ideal. The simplest way to put yourself (and your managers) in the mindset communication is to put it on your calendar.

One on one meetings (informal confabs) with the people who report to you should at least be held biweekly which serves as excellent chance to track on their progress as well as helping identify problems, thus a powerful motivational tool.

Meeting in groups at the start of the day is a good way to discuss challenges, goals or any operating plan for the day. It shouldn't last more than 10 or 15 minutes. Then, every quarter, a company meeting can serve as a state-of-the-business update, Galbreath said.
The meeting should be at least an hour and includes a question-and-answer session. Questions can be made in advance as well.

Finally, a "lunch and learn" can be done occassionally which is as good as less formal discussion of the company, for introducing new products and strategies.
Make sure your message is heard. According to research by the Society for Human Resource Management; - people normally remember only 3-5 points from any communication, so keep it short and sharp. This is usually correct if you'll sending it by email or memo.
Keep the paragraph short and the whole document to no more than a page.

Balance criticism with compliments. A negative message wouldn't be heard. Before a meeting (whether one on one or a large group), plan what you're gonna say and how you say it. Tailor your message delivery to your audience.

Understand unspoken signals, like a body language. It can undermine a spoken message.

When a message needs reinforcement, follow it up afterward with a memo or note that recapitulates the conversation.