Effective employee communication is extremely important in building good engagement between employers and employees. It’s no secret — the best way to know people and to get them to understand you is to talk to them!
But while we say that communication is important, oftentimes we don’t know how to effectively go about communicating with our employees in a manner that makes them feel valued. It’s easy to craft messages that resonate with employees, but if the delivery is off, those messages won’t stick.
Great employee communication relies on the strength of effective communicators to deliver them. What’s the secret though to these communicators? There are three.
1. They listen well.
Great communicators don’t just communicate, they also listen to those they’re communicating with.
Remember that employee messaging is a two-way affair. On the one hand, employers want to communicate their expectations to their employees. At the same time, employees also want to voice out their concerns to employers, especially when it comes to issues that concern them the most.
Especially for employees, talking without listening to what the other side has to say is never good for effective employee communication. It makes it appear as if management is hell-bent on getting its way, potentially forcing employees to push back and rebel. The best communicators are capable of listening to their employees, and making them feel that their input is valued.
But listening isn’t enough. Listening must also translate into action.
2. They can meet expectations halfway and can defer when needed.
Employees and employers each have different ideas as to what they want. Sometimes, these ideas will conflict with one another and both sides can’t seem to agree. For example, what if employees are demanding pay raises at a time when the company is cutting employees in supposedly difficult times?
Effective communicators are adept in the art of compromise. They should be able to determine whether a course of action is detrimental to the overall goals of the company, and at the same time they should also be able to help address the concerns of the other side so that everyone wins. The strongest symbol of employee communication is not just understanding, but positive results for both sides, and effective communicators should be able to deliver on just that.
But how do they get to these compromises? They do that by being able to not just translating listening into action, but also by getting to the point.
3. They can get to the heart of the argument in the shortest period of time.
Finally, effective communicators are able to understand what it is exactly that both sides want at the end of the day. It’s not enough that they can understand both sides, but rather that they are able to diffuse tensions with the least amount of bloodshed (in a metaphorical sense).
One of the biggest deterrents to effective communication between employers and employees is the inability to build understanding between both sides immediately. Too often this is because we fail to get to the heart of what it is that the other side wants, as well as an apprehension that there is something too valuable to lose.
An effective communicator is capable of using compromise to help smooth out fears of someone losing out on something. When used correctly, communication shouldn’t lead to communication challenges, but instead should lead to be a better work environment for everyone.