Communicating effectively with your employees is essential to creating a happy, productive workplace. When you communicate well with your employees you can build good relationships with them, and when you do that, you can:
- Improve employee morale.
- Increase employee productivity.
- Increase employee loyalty.
- Turn employees into brand ambassadors.
- Reduce mistakes that stem from poor communication.
- Prevent angry employees from sabotaging your company.
But how exactly do you improve communication with your employees? Here are five things you can start doing immediately:
1. Have face-to-face conversations.
Thanks to email, text messaging, and chat applications, face-to-face communication is dying a painful death in many workplaces. While these tools can come in handy for communicating certain things, it's important to make time to interact with your employees in person. It helps strengthen working relationships, improve collaboration, increase trust and respect, and avoid miscommunication issues that can occur when going back and forth over email or text.
2. Keep employees in the loop.
Your employees want to feel like they know what's going on with the company. They want insight into the bigger picture. It makes them feel important, and lets them know what they're working for. Make sure you communicate regularly with your team to keep everyone in the loop and be sure you're all on the same page.
3. Provide avenues for sounding off.
Listening is an important part of communicating with your employees. To listen, you need to give your employees ways to provide feedback. This can include employee surveys (anonymous surveys allow employees to share things they might not feel comfortable saying otherwise), regular staff meetings where everyone gets to participate, an open-door policy with your team, or an old-fashioned suggestion box.
4. Be approachable.
There are always walls between employees and their superiors, and these walls hinder good communication. It's your job to break them down so your employees can feel comfortable approaching you. Sometimes breaking down a wall can be as simple as taking an employee out to lunch.
5. Act on what you hear.
If you're not going to take any action when employees provide you with feedback, why bother talking to them in the first place? If they know you're not going to do anything with what they say, they'll stop talking to you. You have to act on what you hear if you want to create a workplace where people communicate well.
How do you improve communication with employees?
Mickie Kennedy is the CEO and founder of eReleases and blogs at PR Fuel
, where a version of this article originally appeared.