6 Two-Word Tips for Communicating Better With Your Employees

October 12, 2017

3:50 pm

The only constant when it comes to running a business is that eventually, you’re going to encounter problems. While many of these problems will be product or customer based, more often than not they’ll be rooted in how you manage your employees. Whether you’re too strict, too lax, too friendly, or too removed, almost any strain felt in a team boils down to one thing: poor communication.

For a simple guide on how to communicate better with your employees, check out a few two-word tips below:

Check In

The easiest way to initiate better communications with your employees is to institute regular check-ins. It doesn’t need to be every day or even every week, but it’s helpful to establish a consistent pattern for reaching out.

Maybe you send an email every Thursday afternoon that asks your employees to share three actionable things they’ve accomplished that week or perhaps you sanction off an hour every other Tuesday for a quick ten minute debrief in your office. This kind of attention requires little effort on either side, but does wonders to eliminate the boundaries between team members.

Pay Attention

No matter the job, it’s incredibly important that an employer keeps tabs on what their employees are doing. Oftentimes, workers will complain that their boss isn’t paying attention to what they’re producing, which can lead to apathy and disinterest on the part of the employee.

To safeguard against this, engage with their work in an active and supportive way. If a writer drafts some really dynamite copy, send them a quick note to let them know you like what they’re doing. On the other hand, if you don’t like the the color scheme a designer’s using for a new website for example, offer some constructive feedback that acknowledges their hard work while steering them in a new direction.

Review Goals

A great way to energize your employees is to talk to them about their professional goals. While it’s common practice to discuss career ambitions in an initial interview, many employers fail to provide a space for workers to reassess their goals overtime.

By allowing your employees to express their desires to learn different skills or try their hands at new challenges, you’ll demonstrate that you’re willing to invest in their professional growth. This will undoubtedly create a warm and positive rapport between you and your employees and lead to some truly great communication.

Remember Details

No workforce is a monolith, so it’s crucial that you get to know your employees on an individual level. While you won’t always have the time to delve into too many personal details, make sure you remember the ones you do learn.

Asking about a software engineer’s kids by name or celebrating with an editor when she snags a great deal on a vacation home will show that you’re making an effort to connect with your team. This will allow you to communicate not just on a professional level, but on a personal one, and will inspire open dialogue in the workplace.

Hang Out

Though you might have every good intention of being an approachable and caring boss, there’s no denying that your perceived position of power in the workplace might be intimidating to some of your employees.

To alleviate this unease, spend some time in the public spaces around the office. Drinking coffee in the break room might give you the opportunity to banter with a new hire while taking lunch in the main eating area could help you connect with a veteran staffer in a goofy and relaxed way. Appearing available will help your team to feel like they can reach out to you with problems and use your expertise as a resource.

Respond Quickly

Good communication isn’t just about being personable, it’s also about being reliable and responsive. So when an employee sends you an email on Tuesday morning asking for your opinion on a sales draft they need to get out by the end of day, don’t wait until four o’clock to send your thoughts. This makes you look detached and will certainly make your employee feel like she’s an afterthought.

If you’re unable to respond to the message in a timely fashion, send a polite note right away to let your employee know so they can get feedback from another source.

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Serial entrepreneur, digital marketer, and MBA

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