Communicate with Employees to Equip them for Success

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Become Indispensable

Construction Foreman Communicates with Worker over LunchOne of the primary skills for any worker is communication. Whether you are managing a team of accountants, working directly with customers or supervising in a factory, it's essential from the top of the ladder to the bottom. However, many people today don't communicate effectively on the job – including managers. Many employers assume that workers should come to them for direction or instructions rather than being proactive and approaching their employees. But, the truth is that employers and supervisors who take the extra effort to communicate with each of their employees will come out ahead. Here are five vital communication tips you can use in your workplace today.

  • Offer clear guidance from the getgo. One of the most important communication tools between employers and employees is the job description. Make sure whenever you hire new employees that their job description is clear, accurate and goals-driven. Making sure your employees are equipped with proper directions in the form of a clear job description will ensure they get to the right destination of achieving their goals.
  • Assume people won't ask for help. As a manager, employer or supervisor, one of your key responsibilities is the success of those who report to you. But you can't force people to come to you for help. You can only control your effort in communicating. If you see an employee struggling to figure something out, be proactive and offer help. As the manager, you will be held accountable for their performance – whether by your boss, your customers or your market share. Take the time to offer your assistance to employees, and you'll see it's worth the effort.
  • Conduct regular performance reviews. Performance reviews are a vital communication tool for any employer. Though it's a formal process, reviews are designed to equip you to address positive and negative aspects of an employee's performance. It may be difficult to bring up areas where employees need improvement in the regular course of the workday, but a formal review is the perfect time to communicate any areas that need help. They're also a great time to reward top employees for great performance.
  • Check in regularly. Set a time for regular updates with each employee beyond the annual review. Experts recommend scheduling a regular meeting ranging from once a week to once a month, based on what each employee needs and feels comfortable with. This can be an informal 15 minute conversation in which the employee asks for feedback, advice or direction. Make sure that this time is all about your employee and not devoted to your own agenda. You can always call a staff meeting to talk about your ideas and projects. Employees need a time of their own to communicate with their bosses as a way to establish trust.
  • Understand generational differences. You may manage people older than you or younger than you, but chances are, everyone in your workplace isn't in the same generation. The four generations currently in the workforce include: Traditionalists, Baby Boomers, Generation Xers and Millennials. Members of each of these generations have different communications preferences, and you may need to tailor your efforts, timing and approach to suit the specific needs of each generation.

Focusing on communicating with each of your employees is a vital part of ensuring that you are an indispensable part of their success. People who know their boss cares about them because they communicate effectively and regularly will be more productive, loyal and engaged in their work.

To learn more on becoming indispensable, listen to our podcast, and check out next month's e-Xchange article.

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