Having a great manager can feel like a gift from the gods, but what really goes into being a great manager? A lot of it comes down to communication. If you want to be the boss your employees need to thrive at work, it’s important to both communicate clearly and listen to their needs.
It’s estimated that 46% of employees rarely or never leave a meeting knowing what they’re supposed to do next. This is a huge number and clearly shows that communication needs to become more of a priority in the workplace. When people don’t know what they are supposed to be doing or feel like there’s a lack of communication, productivity and confidence levels decline.
Make sure that you communicate with your employees to ensure that you’re all on the same page and nothing gets lost in translation. This will not only make your work more synchronized, but it will additionally promote respect and understanding. We’re all human and understand that unexpected events or situations arise, however if you don’t clearly communicate what you’re dealing with and feeling, people will not know and understand. Clear communication should be a top priority (both for you as a manager and for your employees). If no one makes their feelings clear, no one will be able to help.
Define your goals, priorities, and tasks
One of the best ways to clearly communicate with your employees and help them thrive is to define what you want to accomplish as a team, then relay this information to them. Assess your priorities and tasks for the day, then build from there. Make an outline or a to-do list so you can clearly see what’s on your plate. Once you have figured out what you need to accomplish and how to prioritize each task, you can communicate this plan with others and delegate tasks as needed.
Talk to employees and tell them what you need
As a manager, it’s important to communicate with your employees to ensure that you’re all on the same page and nothing gets lost in translation. A lot of people accomplish their best work when they are given concrete tasks or goals, so think about talking to your employees to create an outline of what needs to be accomplished and when it needs to get done. You can also use applications like Trello to keep organized and keep team members up to date on everyone’s progress. This will not only make everyone’s work more synchronized, but it will additionally promote respect and understanding. A sense of respect (and not fear) will help employees thrive and do their best to always be punctual and put forth the strongest effort.
Recognize hard work
One of the most important factors of helping your employees thrive is recognizing their hard work.
According to a recent study, a staggering 40% of employees across various fields and positions stated that employee recognition was simply not a priority in their office, which hindered their motivation to truly excel.
Additionally, 69% of employees say they would work harder if they felt their efforts were better recognized. Simple acts of kindness and recognition made a huge difference. Something as simple as thanking an employee for putting in extra time and effort, or even putting a $5 coffee card on their desk could greatly improve their mood and motivation.
Remember that communication is a two way street
While communicating what you need from others is critical, remember that you need to ask others what they need as well. One of the downfalls many managers have when it comes to communication is that they forget to ask what is needed of them. You might be communicating your needs to your employees, but don’t assume that they are doing the same.
Be sure to ask what they need from you, where you can be most helpful, and if there’s anything that they don’t feel confident in. This will ensure that everyone is on the same page and that all bases are covered. If you know an employee is notorious for changing the plan without communicating, get the information in writing. Send an email asking for specifics or timeline information. That way if something does change without being clearly communicated, you can refer back to the email to show the exact information you received.
Respond to people when they reach out
As a manager, you never want someone to feel as though they have to hunt you down. If you want to cultivate relationships and establish trust with your employees, communicate clearly and in a timely manner. If someone feels as though they have to hunt you down to get an answer, they more than likely won’t feel like you’re being a good manager. Be the one to follow through with them! Follow up to a conversation, send a quick reminder for a meeting, or send an email with highlights from your previous phone call. If your employees can see your reliability, this will help establish you as a reputable boss and a good communicator.
Between social media, smart phones, and all the latest technology, millennials are often stereotyped for being completely connected, yet almost half of employees feel a lack of communication in the workplace. This statistic will make you rethink your communication skills, and make you want to be a better communicator. Make communication a priority, and it will help you stay on top of your tasks while also improving your reputation at work.
By: Michelle Landon
Certified Professional Resume Writer