Improving Workplace Communications

In a recent survey more than a third (36 percent) of senior managers, executives and employees say employees "hardly ever" know what's going on in their organizations. It's like bowling with a curtain in front of the pins you don't how well or how poorly you are doing. Business leaders claim to recognize the importance of good communication in the workplace, but too often this communication takes a backseat to other priorities of business.

The companies with the most effective communication strategies reinforce key messages across multiple platforms such as e-mail, meetings, intranet and voice mail, and ensure that the same message "cascades" down through the leadership so employees hear consistent messages from many levels of the organization.

Effectively leveraging social media can also be a great way to stay connected with employees and create a more collaborative work environment. Creating a team LinkedIn group or internal Facebook type page can be an easy and efficient way to communicate to the entire team and provide quick status updates that are relevant and timely.

Tips for Improving Employee Communication

To increase the level of connection with employees, it is suggested that managers:
Understand what matters to employees, such as their fears, concerns, hopes and expectations.
Take those concerns seriously and be sure communications address what matters most to employees.
Frame the company's priorities in ways that employees understand and can rally around.
Remind employees regularly about company priorities.
Establish a feedback loop to be sure employees understand what leaders are saying.

Also, business leaders should:
Refrain from changing the message multiple times. Content should remain consistent.
Make sure employees understand the "why." Communicate the appropriate background information and context.
Send a key message more than once. Use repetition with multiple mediums to increase understanding and acceptance.
Avoid confusing language and jargon. Use clear and concise language to ensure messages are accurately interpreted and understood.

SESCO Management Consultants is available to assist with your human resource issues. You may contact us by phone at 423-764-4127 or by email at sesco@sescomgt.com .