Given Naomi Campbell’s well publicized office, um, politics, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that one of the problematic obstacles business owners face every day is communicating with employees.
And sometimes, even when you are heard, it does not mean you are understood. The way a message is delivered determines whether it is understood. (Though a cell phone, or saliva, to the face don’t leave much room to interpretation. However, we do not endorse these methods.)
Think about using direct terms, like The Apprentice's Donald Trump's “You’re fired,” (GE) or "Make It Work" the host's phrase from Tim Gunn’s Guide to Style (GE). These words are easy for workers to understand. Sure, sending a negative message like Trump's may cause you anxiety, but take comfort in this: Most employees say they would rather receive bad news from their boss than none at all.
That's because not knowing what the boss thinks causes an employee a great deal of anxiety. This uncertainty can lead to errors, decreased morale, low productivity, absenteeism and turnover.To immediately improve the quality of employee communication, follow these 10 tips:
1. Be negative privately and positive publicly. Praising employees around others, especially in a meeting, shows you are kind and smart enough to recognize achievements in others. They will work hard to gain positive feedback from you. People thrive on feedback, especially when it's positive.
Negative feedback, however, should be given privately. Many communicators, especially bosses, erroneously believe that if they embarrass or criticize someone publicly, they will be seen as powerful and astute.
Unfortunately, these communicators are usually seen negatively by the audience, while the recipient of the criticism becomes a martyr, unnecessarily embarrassed in front of peers.
2. Don't yell. Raising your voice simply communicates that you're unable to maintain self-control, and that you may be seconds away from tossing your phone at someone. The recipient usually becomes defensive, doesn't hear the message and often walks away upset. The meaning of the message, identifying an incorrect or unacceptable action, for example, doesn't get through to the recipient.