It is time to reduce employee fears, concerns, and confusion by implementing an effective business communication strategy.
The single biggest problem in communication is the illusion that it has taken place.
~ George Bernard Shaw
I’m sure we’ve all had times when we thought we sent an important email or text, but it turns out we never hit send. That’s not uncommon. However there is a difference between making this mistake in our personal lives and making careless communication mistakes a habit in the workplace.
Business communication is important no matter the topic. From the moment you onboard a new employee, deliver safety training, or even just simply send an email your communication matters. According to the following facts, alot of us are not communicating well enough with our employees.
Employees often spend up to two hours a day (which equals one quarter of the work week) worrying and gossiping.
55% of employees say their benefits materials are neither clear nor comprehensive.
33% of workers are worried their pay will be cut; 30% are worried about getting laid off; 30% are worried their hours will be cut.
When there are more questions than answers at work, the consequences are uncertainty, frustration, rumors, and lowered productivity.
Confusion and frustration usually motivate your best employees to leave first, and it costs an average of 150% of their annual salaries to replace them.
These communication facts are proof that something needs to change — and soon. Proper communication can affect employee productivity, engagement, and overall safety at the workplace.
Informing Vs. Communicating: There’s A Difference.
If you’re confused because you feel like you do communicate with your employees on a regular basis, ask yourself this question: are you really communicating with your employees or just giving them information? Aren’t they the same thing, you ask? No not at all.
Informing is the simple action of sharing facts, but communicating implies a two-way dialogue. This is an extremely important distinction that can help transform both your current and future communication strategies, so let’s say it again: informing and communicating are not the same thing.
This revelation means that we need to stop tossing information at our employees just assuming they’ll understand it and really start communicating more with them to guarantee that they get it and understood the message!
More Listening. Less Talking.
Wait, didn’t we just say you need to communicate MORE with your employees? How do we do that if we’re talking LESS? Easy. Start listening more to what your employees have to say, and that will help guide how you should be communicating with them. Check out these two facts that support the importance of listening:
Employees who feel like they are genuinely listened to by their managers are nearly 5 times more likely to have high job enthusiasm and 21 times more likely to feel committed to their company than those who do not feel listened to.
Companies with highly engaged employees improved operating income by 19.2% over a 12 month period.
In order to listen more you need to provide an outlet for your employees to give you feedback, i.e. one-on-one meetings, employee surveys, suggestions boxes. When you provide these outlets you might be surprised who provides feedback and what kind of feedback they provide.
Hitting Your Target
Make your communications program strategic. If you just toss information out into the employee arena hoping it reaches the target, you won’t know for sure if you accomplished anything. You can’t afford to take chances with casual, hit-or-miss communication efforts. Here’s why:
Successful company communication programs tend to produce the best results in financials, productivity, and shareholder returns.
Communication programs executed immediately after a deal get significantly better results than those that delay implementation for 3 months or more.
Make sure you dedicate time to talk to your employees. Each communication effort should also have a goal, no matter how small. From here you will be able to judge your communication as a success or failure. With out any kind of goal you will find yourself communicating and never growing as a leader or trainer.
So what’s the bottom line here? To simultaneously reduce employees’ concerns and increase company loyalty, enthusiasm, and engagement. It is time you become the kind of leader who communicates so often and so well that you no longer have to wonder if your communication accomplishments are just an illusion.