Employees Expect You To Communicate

 

 

Despite the explosion of the digital era, the lack of communication remains a major challenge in the workforce. It prevents organizations, and employees, from reaching their full potential.

 

Under-communication, lack of communication, miscommunication, NO COMMUNICATION whatever you want to call it, is a problem in the workforce.

 

About.com conducted a survey in 2014 and found the top three reasons why people do not like their jobs. These reasons accounted for 62% of the responses and were considered the biggest workforce issues. Here are those reasons:

  • Lack of direction from management
  • Poor overall communication
  • Constant change poorly communicated

 

What Do My Employees Want To Hear?

A CEO has a communication role that is very symbolic. Employees want CEOs to communicate with them about:

 

  • The bigger picture
  • Company vision
  • Challenges
  • Company performance

 

 

Engaging in regular communication is difficult for chief executives. They have a multitude of responsibilities and many time constraints. As a result, the lack of communication has long-term negative effects on the workforce.  Here are examples of the negative effects: 

 

  • It breeds uncertainty and doubt
  • It turns into rumors, gossip, suspicion, and resentment
  • It causes low productivity, deadlines missed, and tasks not accomplished
  • Employee turnover

In other words, when information is not provided, the team makes assumptions. And their assumptions are almost always worse than the actual situation.

 

Tips for Effective Leadership Communication

 

 

Chief Executives and other company leaders should focus on communications as a management capability and strategic tool.

 

The best corporate leaders make it a priority to communicate. They realize that every word is vulnerable to public scrutiny and intense criticism.

 

Leaders are important people. They are key decision makers. Every action is a form of communication. Below are a few considerations to help leaders become effective communicators.

 

Be respectful

Being respectful is important for any professional, especially those in leadership positions. Being respectful is not limited to speaking politely. Body language, active listening and being considerate are ways of showing respect.

 

Be honest and humble

Being a CEO or leader does not demand one to be stuffy or arrogant. The key is humility. Be humble when interacting with your employees. Speak in a fashion that increases the comfort level of your team.

Be seen and available for engagement

It is important for your employees to see you. Leverage from every opportunity to interact with employees. Meetings, town-halls, road-shows, a visit to the floors, whatever it takes. Your employees must see you, often.

 

Employees like to associate with CEOs who give them reasons to be proud of the organization. Use enterprise social media to communicate with employees whom you cannot visit.

 

Reach out

Get into the habit of visiting employees randomly. Take time out to sit at their desks and ask what they do. Give a pat on the back, say hello, shake their hand and informal discussions. These forms of communication can boost your employees' work week.

 

If your company is spread across regions, plan your visits for the quarter. Invest in meeting with employees around the geographical areas where your company operates.

 

Be the leader in a crisis

A CEO should lead from the front when a crisis hits the organization. Working behind closed doors creates misconceptions.

 

How a leader carries themselves through a crisis communicates volumes. Plan a short meeting with employees to explain the situation. Communicate your plan of action to end rumors and frustrations. This will help manage your internal and external perception.

 

Embrace Digital Communication

Modern employees expect communication in more forms than just town halls, meeting rooms, emails and newsletters.  Explore and embrace the full range of digital communication tools in order to connect with employees throughout the organization. This may include social posting, blogs, video, and more.  Yes, all of those tools can be overwhelming - but the good news is that rules for effective leadership communication are the same, regardless of which channel you use.

Communication, The Necessary Skill

Meaningful communication is much more than issuing a statement. It is a dialogue geared towards reaching common ground. Focus on communication as a strategic tool. Communication is no longer a soft skill. Effective communication is a necessary skill for survival.