Frequency & Quality Drives Employee Engagement Through Communication

As employers, we spent between 2-5 times an employee’s annual salary recruiting, courting and selecting them before they even set foot in our office as an employee. Unfortunately, the communication and engagement often ends just when our workforce needs it most, and that’s after onboarding when they become a fully productive and functioning employee. When it comes to just about anything in life, doing things the right way takes time, research, engagement and most importantly effort. The same is true when it comes to communicating with your employees.

A lack of communication will create problems for your organization that extend from high turnover rates to low quality of hires. Constant contact and communication with employees, especially new employees, will benefit your organization in the long run by increased productivity and innovations. When an employee believes in a company they’re willing to go the extra mile and communication is a way to encourage employees to go the distance.

Improving communication isn’t difficult. It takes time to build trust. When trust is built you’ll be able to get accurate and honest information that can be used to better yourself and the company. Opening the lines of communication is essential for any company wanting to grow and become the best in their industry. To help start the process here are a few ways to help communicate better with your employees:

 5 Ways to Communicate Better With Employees

Start with nontransactional communication: One of the best ways to start the dialogue with an employee is small talk, or nontransactional communication. Not everything in the workplace has to directly be about work, especially during a slow day or season. As a manager it’s important to get out there on the front lines and communicate with employees and build a level of trust. If they’ve never seen your face they’re more likely to keep their issues to themselves and either go off on a customer, employee, or jump ship.

Be creative in motivating staff: One simple form of communication is showing appreciation of your staff. Be as creative as you want, but a recent Forbes article suggests that having fun days like “Boss Does Your Work” day shows employees that your boss isn’t afraid to step on the front lines and is willing to do your job. When motivating your staff you’re participating in a form of positive communication.

Sharpen your message: When communicating it’s important that you don’t float the topic, but you speak in a short and proficient way. The Society of Human Resource Management recently cited that employees normally only retain about three to five points from any form of communication. Knowing how to effectively communicate with your staff is an important.

Act on what you hear: Acting on information that was brought to your attention is just as important as listening. If employees feel like their problems are heard, but not acted upon they will stop sharing information with you. You have to act on what you hear if you want to create a workplace where people communicate well.

Be approachable: One of the most important characteristic traits a manger must have is approachability. In order for communication to work it’s imperative that employees feel like they can come to you if they have a certain problem. Festering issues only leads to turnover and awful working conditions. Don’t be the person behind the curtain in your workplace, but work on creating a “open door” type environment

Ineffective communication is a big reason why employees might leave a company for another. It’s important to give each employee a soundboard where they’re able to air their grievances. Without this type of environment issues will fester. It’s important to understand that communication plays one of the biggest roles in the workplace and is absolutely necessary to drive employee engagement.

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Jessica Miller-Merrell

Jessica Miller-Merrell

Jessica Miller-Merrell (@jmillermerrell) is a workplace change agent, author and consultant focused on human resources and talent acquisition living in Austin, TX. Recognized by Forbes as a top 50 social media influencer and is a global speaker. She’s the founder of Workology, a workplace HR resource and host of the Workology Podcast.

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