How to Improve Communication With Employees
By Amy Truesdell
Internal communication is one of the most important determining factors for company success and employee satisfaction. Ensuring that the way you communicate with team members aligns with their needs and, similarly, making sure they feel valued and heard will have far-reaching positive impacts on your brand, bottom line and employee retention.
At Learn2, we are passionate about helping leaders and organizations improve upon and maintain effective models of communication. We have seen firsthand how empowering communicators can generate short- and long-term benefits for businesses and their stakeholders, so let’s take a look at what that means and why it’s important.
What Ineffective Communication Looks Like & How It Affects the Workplace
The Communication is Not Well-thought-out or Well-timed
There is a vast difference between a one-off conversation and an overarching communication strategy. Organizational communications needs to be backed by thought, research and values. Without the appropriate amount of planning and insight, communications may contain errors, they may mislead people and may not demonstrate the full range of respect you have for your stakeholders.
The Communication Does Not Consider Its Audience
Different demographics have unique communication preferences. When you craft communications for particular groups of people, it’s essential that you consider the platforms, ways of speaking and any barriers – tangible or perceived – that will impact how they receive a message. When you don’t consider who is listening, you are more likely to elicit negative reactions or cause undesirable confusion.
The Communication is Not Inclusive or Interactive
Communications that make assumptions about listeners can fall on unwelcoming ears. Failing to be culturally sensitive and providing teams with enough notice about change can lead to feelings of resentment and, in some scenarios, even an unfortunate public relations circumstance.
How to Avoid Communications Missteps
Engage Your Team Members & Really Listen
Great communication demands dialogue. Two-way communication helps ensure team members and leaders are on the same page and that each party is heard with empathy and understanding. Whether you can implement surveys or speak to your team directly, opening the door to dialogue will only ever positively benefit your organization.
Ensure Your Leaders and Team Members Have Access to Communication Training & Resources
People are not born great communicators – they are taught to become them. Ongoing communication training that includes fostering active listening, inclusive dialogue and research will elevate what is said and how it is said.
Keep Employees Informed but Not Overwhelmed
People want to know what is going on, especially if changes or circumstances will directly affect them. Generally, people are accepting of improvements, but that acceptance rate will be influenced by how well-informed they feel. Don’t bombard your team members with every little detail, but keep them in the loop and ask them what they are most interested in knowing. Then, communicate those key pieces in ways that show appreciation for their time, unique lived experiences and platform preferences.
Communication Will Support & Sustain the Vitality of Your Organization
Building a communication-friendly culture takes time, work and strategy. With that said, the investment will pay short- and long-term dividends that empower your company to reach new heights with unprecedented buy-in. Connect with Learn2 to find out which programs and methods of communication will best align with your organizational needs and the personalities you aim to serve.
Together, we will carve out a powerful internal communication strategy that enhances the vibrancy, inclusivity and effectiveness of your business.
DISCOVER YOUR NATURAL COMMUNICATION STYLE.
Each person has a natural communication style. Understanding yours can and will impact how effective you are when dealing with friends, co-workers and clients.