5 Tips for Building Stronger Teams Through Effective Manager-Employee Communication
Operations | Mary McKenzie | Jul 26 2023
Effective communication is the cornerstone of any successful organization. Within this context, manager to employee communication plays a vital role in establishing a positive work environment, fostering employee engagement, and driving productivity. When communication flows between managers and subordinates, it creates a sense of trust, empowerment, and collaboration, which leads to improved job satisfaction. The key is to treat your employees the way you would want to be treated.
Today, the manager-employee relationship looks different, as the working world has changed for many. More people are working hybrid or remote positions, and face-to-face meetings have moved to online platforms. Managers today need to focus on team building and communication to develop a healthy work environment and keep employees engaged and fulfilled. Delegating tasks is the simple part of the equation; supporting employees’ wellbeing and growth is the challenge. So how do we become supportive managers for the good of all involved? Here are five ideas to help you improve communication between your teams.
1. Set Yearly Goals
Clear communication on roles, responsibilities, and organizational objectives lets employees know what is expected. Let’s start with setting yearly goals. Goals are developed by the employee with manager support. This includes discussions on the current role and expectations. It also allows employees to define business as well as personal development goals. At Eastern Insurance, all employees set yearly goals based on the company goals, which allows each employee to better understand their contribution to the company goal. Each manager’s goal is to help the employee continue to grow in their role.
2. Schedule Weekly One-on-One Meetings With Each Employee
Weekly one-on-one meetings allow the employee to adjust and move forward with their goals. This conversation allows both participants to learn each other’s style to regularly improve communication. These meetings allow managers to better understand an employee’s aspirations and needs and the focus is on development of the employee. Many times, this conversation is focused on personal needs and allows the manager to help remove roadblocks for better productivity. At Eastern, we typically do these one-on-one meetings on a face-to-face call. These meetings are so important for creating a safe environment for candid feedback. These meetings also allow me as a manager to become more flexible in management style based on employees’ individual needs.
3. Encourage Collaboration During Your Meetings
My team meets for 30 minutes each week to share something new they learned or to discuss a workflow improvement. These subjects are easy to identify during one-on-ones and help build employees’ presentation/communication skills in a collaborative team environment. This type of meeting allows for team collaboration and open discussion where everyone can speak their thoughts. Fostering this open dialogue and actively listening promotes transparency and helps build a stronger team.
4. Give Positive Feedback Regularly
Managers need to support staff and build them up by praising employees regularly on a job well done. At Eastern, we have multiple employee recognition programs which allow us to “Celebrate the Good.” For example, we have a Quarterly Recognition Award ($250) for a successful project or idea that is pitched by employees. We also have a $25 Thank You award. These awards allow all employees to be empowered to say, “Thanks, you did a good job.”
5. Be Empathetic
Management requires a tremendous amount of emotional regulation. We need to remember to always be empathic when delivering criticism. How we deliver the feedback plays a big part in building a good relationship with an employee. We all learn best from our mistakes. Feedback needs to be timely, specific, and aimed at improvement. Managers should focus on behavior outcomes rather than personal attributes which helps create a safe environment for feedback.
As a manager, be an active listener, be open minded, and adjust your management style to each employee in order to be a good leader. Effective, honest communication is a powerful tool for better productivity.
Tags: Operations , Communication