Inform and consult your employees
Posted by jorbell on December 21, 2008
From Business Link
The Art of Good Communication
Be clear about what you are trying to achieve and explain to employees whether you are informing, consulting or negotiating with them.
To encourage a two-way flow of information between employees and managers, consider:
- holding regular meetings
- using language your employees understand – not jargon
- keeping discussions focused, relevant, local and timely
- using open-ended questions to draw out ideas from employees
- ensuring your communications reach every employee, ie don’t forget part-time workers, homeworkers and absent workers
- using social events to break down barriers and build up trust
When you need to communicate controversial or sensitive issues, eg poor company results, it is advisable to do this face-to-face. It’s usually better to have a senior manager discussing such important matters. The advantage of spoken, face-to-face communication is that it’s a direct and effective way to get across facts. It can’t be relied upon completely because misunderstandings and rumours can arise – you may wish to reinforce it with written confirmation.
You may also want written information available for employees to refer to.
Make sure that whoever talks to the employees is fully briefed, and provide an opportunity for employees to ask questions. If you are asked a question you don’t know the answer to, say so – don’t bluff. If there is no answer, explain why. If you can get an answer, undertake to do so by a given deadline, and keep to it.
Effective written communication is typically accurate, brief and clear. It’s good practice to have copies of all business policies and information in one place which employees have access to, eg an intranet. Employees can look up procedures, duties and contract terms at their convenience or when they need clarification.
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