These days, when we think about improving productivity there’s probably a good chance that we think about automation and process improvement.
Similarly, when we think about improving workplace morale, we may think about improving workplace facilities or going on team-building exercises. In actual fact, however, there’s a completely free way to improve both productivity and morale and it’s through plain, old-fashioned, communication.
Here are four ways good communication between employers and employees can improve your business shared by Elizabeth Bilton from Midlands Dove.
It gets things done – properly
Good communication just saves so many misunderstandings. Whether it’s a deadline, an essential detail or just a general requirement, people need to know what’s expected of them in order to deliver on them, let alone exceed them.
When leaders are unclear about their requirements, staff can easily become confused and frustrated and that is never a good situation.
It reduces the workload on leaders and employees alike
As the old saying goes, measure twice, cut once. Applying that adage to communications, if leaders spend a bit of time thinking about what they need to say (and how), then they should only have to say it once.
After that, both leaders and employees should be able to get on with their work, applying the communication as relevant.
Leaders should not need to repeat it (or rework it), employees should not need to hear it again (or if they do, they should be able to self-serve. For example via reference documentation rather than having to have the leader repeat it to them directly).
It empowers employees to address any issues they are facing
Communication does not just “flow downhill” from management to the workforce. It needs to flow both ways. The workforce is generally the people who are actually at the front line of company activity, whatever that is.
They are the people who see how things work in the real world (or not) and are therefore in a position to give their leaders valuable feedback, which they can use to improve the company.
They are, however, probably only going to take time out of their day to give their leaders this feedback if they think it is going to be worth their while, in other words, that their leaders are actually going to take the time to listen to them and give serious consideration to what they say.
It creates trust (and hence respect)
Everyone knows the old joke that football clubs always announce that they have “full confidence” in their managers – right before they fire them.
Joking aside, however, today’s working environment can be uncertain, even for skilled professionals and when people feel unsure about the direction a company is taking, and what it will mean for them personally, they may decide that it is better to jump ship on their own terms than wait to be pushed, even if they get a redundancy payment.
If, however, there is open and honest, communication between leaders and the workforce (and leaders are seen to be “walking the walk” as well as “talking the talk”), employees are more likely to feel confident that managers are effectively addressing any challenges the company faces and will give them the opportunity to try to do so rather than just walking away.