As business professionals we know there is a clear link between people management, business performance, and organisational culture. It sounds so obvious, yet in practice can be difficult to achieve.
Here, Jersey-based Human Resources specialist, HR Now, explores the potential challenges involved in communicating effectively, and provides five key tips to ensure that you and your business get it right.
As a business leader/CEO, you need all your managers to be able to communicate effectively across the board, whatever their core strengths and experiences are. Your managers are at the centre of critical relationships that drive culture, performance, and engagement.
How an organisation communicates can accelerate its success or disrupt its progress. So why do so many organisations miss out on the benefits of good communication and get it so wrong?
- Brilliant performers are often promoted into management roles without the communication skills they need to thrive as people managers.
- Managers are operating in a changing world and old ways of working don’t cut it. Employees now demand a better work life balance, a trend accelerated by the increased digitalisation initiated during the pandemic.
- Flexible and remote working are now well established, resulting in communication challenges for managers and their teams, often resulting in performance management issues.
Becky Hill (pictured), the founder of Jersey’s outsourced HR provider, HR Now, has five Top Tips to help you and your managers develop more effective conversations with their teams:
Effective communication is vital if organisations are going to achieve their goals.
- Make it consistent, regular, and two way. Dialogue needs to be open and transparent for employees to feel like their views are being listened to. This includes your body language and tone of voice. Maintain eye contact, don’t cross your arms, and be patient.
- Ensure that any outcomes are actioned following the conversations and not just empty promises. Open dialogue and good listening promote trust and builds relationships and engagement, while also preventing issues from escalating – but only if people can see results afterwards. If you fail to do this, it will have the opposite effect.
- Managers should model what good communication looks like by being clear and concise in their own communication and being open to feedback and suggestions.
- Double down on being ‘human’. You are managing people, not machines. This means that if people are working flexibly, you should ensure that their time includes some face-to-face meetings, where possible.
Be clear and honest with expectations and make sure everyone understands what good looks like. Managers should lead by example and be clear about healthy working practices as well as performance requirements.
Ensure your team have the tools and knowledge to do their jobs. You want them to be the best they can be, and this means unlocking their potential and allowing them to create opportunities and be innovative for the benefit of the whole organisation.
It’s also critical in the current climate where the market for available labour is constricted that managers and business owners feel equipped and confident to have difficult or challenging conversations. At HR Now we are seeing an increase in dialogue paralysis, where employers are shying away from discussions with employees around matters such as working hours for fear of losing the individual.
We have a simple solution for these situations: every request must work for the employee, the employer and the clients or customers. We call it the Pie and if all three slices are not satisfied, then the request should be denied, but the Pie gives you the reasons why. It may also present a better solution that enables a positive outcome.
Schedule short regular one to one catch ups. Use that time to:
- Check in on how they are doing.
- Give feedback on the great work you have seen.
- Provide guidance and support on performance or behavioural issues.
- Use examples of how they are falling short and explain the standards expected.
- Reinforce expectations and objectives as these may have changed.
5. Celebrate successes
Employee experience at work is increasingly important. Communicating successes and celebrating them enables you to:
- Grab the good and share positive messages
- Help employees to feel part of a bigger picture
- Build cohesive teams and engagement
A final word…
In today’s increasingly tight labour market, managers skilled at leading and engaging teams are worth their weight in gold.
Communication skills need to be nurtured and developed to ensure managers can keep team performance on track and individual employees happy and engaged in their work.
HR Now have been helping local businesses wrestle with these problems for 14 years. In the Effective Conversations Workshop, they equip managers with key tools to enable them to communicate better with their teams and deal with issues confidently, quickly and well.
For more information on the workshops click here Or to discuss how HR Now can help your managers polish their communication skills to create top performing, happy teams, email Karen or Becky at HR Now.