Good communication between employees and their employer helps to promote a positive, productive working environment. A business owner might assume that positive communication will come naturally, but like other skills, it’s something that must be worked at.
Whether this issue is tackled when hiring new employees or with current staff, incorporating a few effective communication tips can improve the relationships an employer has with his or her employees. These tips aren’t just for work environments experiencing communication breakdowns. Even businesses with good employee-employer relationships can benefit from improving their communication.
Tips for Promoting Good Communication and Positive Workplace Relationships
Have an Open-Door Policy
One of the best ways to encourage communication and positive employee relationships is to have an open-door policy. This lets workers know that the employer is available to talk with them or listen at any time.
The Leadership Sets the Tone
Employers will follow the examples provided to them by the company leaders. Business owners and managers should set the stage for good communication and workplace relations by being approachable and modeling effective conversational skills for the employees. If employees only see or hear the boss arguing and yelling, they’re unlikely to approach him or her for a discussion.
Hold Regular Meetings
Weekly or monthly meetings with departments or the entire staff provides an excellent setting to encourage communication between staff members and the employer. Distribute a meeting agenda beforehand so employees can mentally prepare for the meeting and have questions, comments, and feedback ready. Always leave time at the end of the meeting for discussion.
Provide Alternate Communication Methods
No matter how conducive the environment is to good communication, there will still be some employees who aren’t comfortable approaching their boss or another coworker for a conversation. To sidestep the potential issues that can arise, an employer can offer alternate communication methods, such as a suggestion box or regular survey.
Acknowledge and Appreciate Employees
To build trust with employees, an employer should acknowledge accomplishments and progress made. Likewise, people need to feel appreciated for their efforts. An employer who takes the time to acknowledge and appreciate employees will promote good communication and improve relations by increasing trust.
Along the lines of setting the example for employees, a manager or employer should proactively initiate discussions with groups or individual employees to ensure that conversation is an everyday part of the workplace.
Workplace Relationship Maintenance
Similar to personal relationships, a positive relationship between an employer and the employees requires work and effort from both parties. Once improvements have been made, good communication practices must continue for progress to be maintained.
If these tips are used regularly, they’ll soon become habit, and the employer and employees won’t have to put as much thought into how they talk and interact with one another. Additionally, should there be a communication breakdown of any kind, everyone in the business will have acquired the skills necessary to deal with the situation in a positive manner until it’s resolved.
About the Author: Mary Ylisela is a veteran writer and motivational business coach who enjoys using her writing talents to help other professionals with topics such as business management, social media marketing, and professional development.