It’s hard to overstate the impact of clear communication on employee engagement. By maintaining open lines of communication, employers and HR leaders can help employees to better understand their responsibilities, avoid costly errors, and enjoy a shared sense of purpose with other team members.
To put it differently, robust workplace communication helps employees to better understand what’s expected of them, and what role they play in furthering the company’s mission. And, it helps employees to have a clearer sense of connection with their colleagues and supervisors. All of these effects are closely linked with strong employee engagement.
What Does Effective Employee Communication Look Like?
Leaders constantly communicate verbally, during one-on-ones and team huddles, as well as in written form, whether via handbooks or employee emails. The question is, what are the hallmarks of clear, engagement-boosting communication?
There are a few essential traits:
- Accuracy. Accurate information reduces misunderstandings, and eliminates the need for leaders to follow-up with corrections, which can undermine their authority. Always proofread written communications for typos, and fact-check to ensure the veracity of all information provided.
- Brevity. It’s important to provide all pertinent details in as few words as possible. Remember that employees have many people competing for their attention, and seldom have the bandwidth for long or wordy emails. Bullet points can be essential for conveying information succinctly.
- Openness. Simply saying that you value two-way communication is not enough. Organizations ultimately need to earn employee trust by creating a safe space for employees to ask questions or offer feedback.
Ways to Improve Communication
As for specific strategies to enhance workplace communication, consider just a few suggestions.
- Be friendly. One of the simplest and most effective ways for leaders to improve their communication abilities is simply to take an active interest in their employees, investing more time in one-on-one interactions, check-ins, and efforts to actually remember what employees say.
- Provide rationale. Another critical step is to provide the reasoning behind every task and project, even (or especially) mundane ones. Make sure employees see how everything is connected back to your organization’s mission.
- Set expectations. One of the cornerstones of effective workplace communication is expectations setting. Be sure that employees know what’s expected on each project, offering clear and measurable business goals whenever possible.
- Prioritize constructive feedback. Don’t wait for annual reviews to provide employees with feedback. Try to offer ongoing feedback on a regular basis, framing it positively (e.g., areas to grow or to get even better) rather than negatively (e.g., areas where you’re falling short).
These are just a few ways in which business leaders and HR teams can step up their communication game, ultimately boosting employee engagement. We’d love to tell you more, or to discuss broader strategies for improving employee engagement. Reach out to FullHR at your convenience.