Many employees struggle with communication. Especially, when expressing their needs and overall happiness to their manager or team leader. On paper it doesn't seem like a big problem. In reality it has a tremendous impact on the company's output and bottom line.
At times I've found it hard to communicate with my manager. It is nerve-racking to admit that I have problems or that I'm unhappy, even though I know I should be able to communicate with them.
Managers need to do everything in their power to encourage employees to share both their accomplishments and emotions in the workplace. This is the only way you can be sure your employees are fully engaged in their tasks and satisfied with their work. As an extra benefit, employees will be less likely to unexpectedly leave you.
The 3 pillars of workplace communication.
There are 3 critical things you must do in order to help your employees better communicate their progress, needs, and happiness:
- Set up a two-way reporting and communication system – If you start using a good continuous performance management software you can make sure that you understand what employees need and give them a platform for sharing information with you.
- Build trust to encourage employees to use the system you've set up – Trust in the team is paramor. "It's a reflection of your character," says Jennifer McClure, president of the leadership advisory firm, Unbridled Talent LLC. "Co-workers will go above and beyond for people they trust."
- Communicate the needs and progress of your team and company to employees – Communications is a two-way street. You must act as an example and communicate your goals and needs to your employees as well. This makes you a member of the team and it will be easier for them to trust you.
If you succeed in all three, you'll have effectively built a trustworthy feedback system for employees to use. This means, you'll also have a more high-performing and motivated team, who is better able to accomplish their work and deliver exceptional results.
How I improved my performance.
Before me and my manager got our communication to work, he was in agony. He saw my morale and productivity dropping, he had no idea how to help me. I was also so frustrated with my work, I couldn't sleep at night. I ended up taking a month off to relax. When I got back, we had a honest and heartfelt conversation where we set up the same principles written about here. Now I'm 100% satisfied with my work and my productivity is through the roof.
This is not an easy feat to achieve. The needs for each employee are a little bit different. Regardless this is the challenge you cannot fail as a manager.
Communicating with Weekdone.
For me, using Weekdone for our weekly task management as made it easier. First of all, thanks to the system, it's impossible to hide when my work efficiency suffers. Also, as I can see my manager's performance, it is much easier to see him as a human and not be intimidated by the workplace hierarchy.
In many offices I've heard people say things about their leader like "I have no idea what they do". This means, they have managers, but employees are not sure about what they bring into the team. It also highlights the hierarchy at work and makes it a lot harder for an employee to reach out to their managers. After all, if the manager doesn't do anything, why should the employee even bother.
If you want your employees to communicate with you, you must communicate with them as well. Be exemplary and show you are willing to listen to them.
Try out Weekdone for task management and feedback to make sure your employees can communicate their life to you.