Employee Communication: Are You Getting the Word Out?

Sections of this topic

    “We thought we were doing a good job in communicating with our employees. However, a recent survey indicated that over 50% felt frustrated because they were not receiving the information they needed to do their job well.”

    When there is a communication gap between management and employees, it is usually due to:

    1. Ineffective supervision.
    Although communication is the most critically important supervisory skill, many enter the ranks of management due to their technical, not their people skills.
    2. Poor information systems.
    Organizations typically do a better job of planning the flow of materials and products than they do of information, which often slips through the cracks.
    3. Lack of a cooperative spirit.
    Without a strong spirit of teamwork and collaboration, employees are more apt to withhold than to share important information.to avoid communication gaps.

    Here’s how to get the word out and prevent communication gaps.

    1. Promote supervisors with good communication skills.
    The ability to effectively communicate up, across, and downward is the most important supervisory skill. It should also be the most important factor in promotion decisions. Also provide communication skills training to everyone because communication is every one’s job.
    2. Conduct an information-needs analysis.
    For each position, outline what information is needed, from whom, and by when. Integrate the results of this analysis into the organization’s daily procedures.
    3. Provide what employees need to do their jobs well.
    From: management: What changes are taking place within and outside the company that will impact my job? How will this changes affect our priorities? What will be different?
    From supervisors: What exactly do you want me to do? What resources do I have? When does it need to be complete? How am I doing? What do I need to do differently?
    From coworkers: When will the work I need from you be completed? What are your expectations of me?

    Management Success Tip:

    Communicate, communicate, communicate. Develop a plan to move information quickly up, down and across the organization. Use staff meetings, special events, emails, voice mail, memos, intranets and even bulletin boards to get the word out. Remember, during times of change there is never “too much” communication.

    Do you want to develop your Management Smarts?