Effective employee communication
Effective employee communication. Face-to-face communication remains the most important form of communicating whether it occurs formally, as in a scheduled interview or disciplinary situation, or informally, as in a chance meeting in the car park or corridor.
Cordial, cooperative discussions with employees ensure that their opinions are heard and provide a very effective means of obtaining information that will make your job much easier.
The following approaches are worth considering:
1. Build trust and confidence – Establish rapport by making employees feel comfortable in your presence and converse freely with you. It’s OK to be yourself.
2. Listen and be listened to – Listening actively is hard work and is more than just not talking. Not only must you hear what the other person is saying but you must also convey understanding and interest through clarifying, summarising, paraphrasing and reflecting feelings.
3. Follow a successful formula – Conduct a fruitful conversation: get to the point, get all the facts before reaching any conclusion, avoid too much direct questioning, keep your conversation factual and objective and confront issues, not people.
4. Practice conversation skills – You can learn something new from every conversation if you practice these skills: call people by their name, ask questions, show interest, listen attentively, maintain eye contact but don’t stare.
5. Use clear, straightforward communication – Eliminate space fillers like ‘um’ and ‘er’ and catchphrases like ‘you know’, ‘basically’ etc.
6. Keep the conversation rolling along – Use motivation phrases like “We’re here to solve this problem together”, and ask for opinions, this will help to steer the conversation. Remaining silent is another way of keeping the conversation flowing.
7. Organise your thoughts – Know what you want to say and say it. Abraham Lincoln once said of an acquaintance: “He can compress the most words into the smallest ideas of any man I ever met”
You must realise that effective employee communication only takes place when each person understands and is understood by the other. That means the listener has to put in as much effort as the speaker.
Your trusted HR & Talent partner,
Keeping you informed
Asenath van den Berg
Director – ASIE Personnel
Source/Extracts from Just about everything a manager needs to know in SA
Authors: Neil Flanagan & Jarvis Finger
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