Employee engagement in the United States continues to decline, according to Gallup, and management is a key factor.
Gallup’s Quarterly Workforce Indicator surveys consistently show that managers are central to employee engagement, retention, productivity and trust in leadership, and communication is the heart of that. Knowing how—and how frequently—to speak with direct reports goes a long way in building employee trust and engagement.
Yet managers report that employers don’t provide effective training on how to communicate to connect and communicate with their people.
Here are a few tips for REAL communication:
- Hold regular, meaningful one-on-ones. Meet weekly with each direct report to discuss goals, project status, offer recognition and stay connected to the people on your team. This is especially important in a hybrid work environment.
- Set a positive tone. Avoid negative or forceful words. Be helpful. Offer alternatives. Speak calmly and confidently, and avoid ambiguity.
- Make personal connections. Remember that your employees have lives outside of work. Ask about their families, pets and friends. Ask how their 5K went.
- Foster an atmosphere of open communication. Encourage employees to be open and speak truthfully about their feelings.
- Support idea sharing. Encourage your employees to share their unique perspectives in unique ways.
- Actively listen. Listen with compassion and understanding, without judgment and with empathy. Acknowledge and accept your team members’ feelings.
The better you are at sharing ideas and communicating, the more you will understand your employees’ needs and the more successful you will be as a manager. Experience Counts offers an approach to leadership development and coaching that builds managers’ ability to support employees and get results. Want to learn more? We can’t wait to hear from you.