Employees want better management communication, but they want quality communication along with frequency. This requires a more supportive and responsive presence from managers. Managers will do well to refine their interactive people skills, namely being more direct and empowering, rather than passive aggressive.
Is there a fairy wand for better management communication?
The call for better interaction with managers is well-documented. If there were a fairy god-manager, she’d likely keep fielding the same wishes from employees. According to a survey conducted by TinyPulse, the survey’s most popular response stated that employees want better, more open management communication.
Gallup reports that engagement is highest among employees who communicate with their managers daily, whether face to face or digitally. Thus, there is no fairy wand that managers can wave to improve communication. Becoming a stronger communicator may require daily discipline, but it’s one that may help employee retention and drive better results overall.
5 keys to strengthening your management communication muscles:
- Create a culture of openness: When suggestions are taken seriously and team members are treated as vital organs, you may find that someone on the team sees a better, clearer way through a tough project. When a manager is open to new ideas, no matter the member’s title or position, everyone will succeed. Creating a culture of openness allows employees to feel safe sharing their ideas or concerns with managers. The first step may be literally opening the door to your office.
- Listen more: Listening is probably the biggest part of communication and it often falls by the wayside. Instead, people tend to wait for their turn to speak rather than actively listen. But great managers don’t just tell their employees what to do, they take time to hear their team’s concerns or enthusiastically discuss a project. When employees know their voices will be heard, they feel empowered and confident to talk about anything, which links nicely to having an open-door policy.
- Give feedback: When managers offer constructive and helpful feedback, employees feel motivated and supported. Feedback doesn’t have to be given just when someone slips up or seeks advice. Remember, it’s crucial to acknowledge something good, too. That’s even more motivating!
- Trust your team: Good management communication is built on trust, rather than micromanaging team members or letting them fight their own battles. Engaged managers praise employees at the peaks and advocate for them in the valleys. They can vie for employee raises, better hours or additional support if that’s what their team needs. Trust goes both ways: it builds loyalty in employees and managers know their team members will get the job done.
- Explain why: For any major company undertaking, whether it’s a big project or a change implementation, managers should explain the “why” behind it. Employees are guaranteed to be more engaged in the situation if they understand the overarching goals and milestones. It’s not just about the paycheck; employees want something to drive their enthusiasm and engagement for work, and they rely on their manager to bolster that reason.
But how to get from here to there?
How can a manager develop the ability to help? Ineffective trainings can help about as much as mythical fairy god-managers granting wishes. All too often training does not convert to action (the dreaded Learning-Doing Gap we know all too well). Interested in learning how to work through a structured journey to develop new skills? Schedule a demo to explore ManagementPlus.