One big challenge for managers is creating a workforce engaged in delivering on their brand’s promise.
Gallup research suggests that leaders can improve employee engagement through "reliable and meaningful communication.” A boss that fails to communicate often struggles with employee motivation — which could affect company revenue.
Leaders who are seeking effective communication that boosts employee engagement should follow these steps:
1. Adopt Communication Styles That Fit Individual Employees
Despite standardized business goals, we’re managing individuals. Successful employers realize they can’t manage every employee the same way:
Disorganized employees improve with structure. Help them get organized!
Leave top performers alone to do their job
Some employees like public recognition: Balloons! Prizes!
Self-effacing employees prefer quiet kudos. Send them a memo
When considering how to communicate, understand that individuals absorb information in different ways. Some people love yakking on the phone, but others prefer face-to-face dialogue. Utilize all mediums available and adopt the best way to communicate that fits the employee.
Also understand your own skills: if you’re a better writer, take advantage of those skills to improve team communication.
2. Be Consistent
Employee engagement improves when the employer clearly defines their job description. Many times, the real cause of employee underperformance is undefined roles and goals. If you’re not communicating responsibilities up front, how can you hold an employee accountable to do the work?
After sharing job expectations, set regular meetings to enhance employee communication. This is your chance to bond with the team. Research by Gallup tells us that when employees have regular meetings with their managers, they are three times more likely to be happier in their work.
Make sure your availability matches your open communication skills; Gallup research states that employees who can approach their manager with questions are 54% more engaged in the workplace.
3. Dump Emotional Displays
Have you ever had a boss that was a screamer?
We know from experience that as soon as the yelling starts, communication goes out the window. If you’re struggling to communicate with your employees, and consistently losing your temper, it’s time to reassess your approach.
If you want to succeed in engaging employees, consider:
How much dialogue really exists between an employer with a temper and their employee?
How does that affect office morale?
Do you think employees respect a manager that yells?
An article in the Journal of Applied Psychologystates that employees fielding calls from angry customers have trouble even remembering what the complaint was about. The emotion overrides any content we’re trying to share.
We believe there is never a time when yelling at an employee is effective. It demoralizes the employee and makes them unwilling or unable to perform effectively.
4. Praise More, Criticize Less
The best managers create an environment in which their employees want to excel. Positive psychology is a branch of sociology that helps humans change behavior through, basically, happy thoughts and actions.
Everyone wants to feel valued. Mutual respect is best fostered through praise, support and steady encouragement. Positive work environments naturally create a more engaged workforce. By communicating praise instead of negativity, the employee feels empowered, supported, and will work to the edge of their abilities to do the best job possible.
Attention, bosses: embrace the carrot, not the stick! If you consistently adapt your personal communication style to the individual employee and focus on praise instead of anger, you’ll engage employees in your company’s success. That approach will go a long way toward creating a positive environment for employers and their workforce.