This month we’re discussing good communication which is essential to business success.
Employees who do not know what is expected of them rarely perform to their best. Attendance, morale, performance, and productivity can all be related back to communication (or lack of).
Majority of workplaces could make improvements to communication – the good news is that you don’t have to be an extrovert to foster healthy communication in your business. You simply need to want to improve it.
After years in HR and recruitment, and dealing with hundreds of businesses and clients, communication issues usually arise out of three areas – honesty, respect and giving and receiving feedback.
If you have anything questions about the areas below or need help rolling them out contact Karen on 0478 818 492 to discuss.
If you have an area you would like us to explore in future posts, please let us know.
The Latitude Recruitment Team.
- Be honest with your staff and encourage the same from them. Clear and transparent communication is so important for a business to function well.
- Have difficult conversations – by not discussing someone’s poor performance, continual lateness, or poor attitude you are giving yourself problems in the future. If you are nervous, go over some key points in your head, stick with known facts and openly discuss what the problems are, why they have occurred and how to fix them. Set a date to revisit and discuss again.
- As the leader of a business – do what you say you are going to do. Diarise and follow up when you said you would, be on time and prepared for meetings and make time for people if they need to speak to you.
- Strive to be transparent and straightforward about the challenges and workings of your business. This is helpful in tough times, explaining what is happening behind-the-scenes and asking a staff member to come on the journey with you is more powerful than not communicating because it’s a stressful time (hello 2020!).
- Successful communication requires both parties to talk. If owners or managers are doing all the taking, employees will tune out – they need to be given opportunity to engage in key discussions.
- Don’t talk about employees performance or personal details with other team members – gossip from people in leadership doesn’t end well.
- Don’t reprimand staff in front of other team members – a big no no! Speak to them in private.
- Schedule 1 on 1 meetings weekly with each staff member for 15 minutes. Discuss challenges and goals for the week ahead, and any support required.
- Discuss performance in these meetings. If someone is not meeting expectations, let them know, ask why and set up a plan so they can perform at their best.
- Weekly team meetings – schedule a weekly team meeting for everyone to get together to discuss goals, challenges or plan for the week. Allowing for staff to provide feedback and comments.
- Think about having a “lunch and learn” quarterly – everyone in the team eats lunch together (bring lunch from home or catered for) and have an expert relevant to your business on a particular topic discuss their experience or it could be learning more about a product or service – this is a great way to build in informal training.
- Recognise and acknowledge good work – if someone has done something well, let them know. Hold their behaviour up to the rest of the team as a great example.
- If you are always negative, the message will not be heard – make sure you are providing balanced feedback and give people praise when they deserve it.
- Create formal feedback mechanisms – performance appraisals are a good way for you and your staff members to speak openly and honestly about performance, goals, and career path. Do these around the same time every year and at three and six months for new starters.
- Receive feedback – take on board when staff are giving feedback and work on implementing it. People doing the work tend to have the best ideas on how to make it quicker/better/productive so listen to what staff are saying.
If you can identify with any of these suggestions for improvement – give it a go!
Implement in your workplace and see the positive changes better communication can bring!