You are working long hours. Employees are not performing up to expectations. Frustration is growing on all fronts. If you’re a leader or manager experiencing this, you may be able to address it all by fixing one thing. All these “symptoms” can be red flags that you need to work on improving your communication with employees.
It’s easy to blame things outside ourselves when we run into these types of problems. We HAVE to work long hours because we’re the only ones who can get it right. Our employees just aren’t doing what they are SUPPOSED to do. Things would go better if someone else did this or if that specific thing happened.
You’re not alone if you find yourself thinking things like that. But if you want to see real change, it’s time to start looking at what changes you need to make first. For example, many struggles between managers and employees can boil down to a lack of effective communication.
So, how do you improve communication with your employees?
Learn how to clarify and communicate your expectations
If your employees are constantly not meeting your expectations, the first thing you need to do is evaluate how you communicate your expectations. Unfortunately, it’s common for new managers or business owners who started as solopreneurs to struggle in this area.
You are used to knowing exactly what your expectations are since you used to only have to worry about the work you were doing. You didn’t have to learn how to share your expectations with anyone. But now that you have employees working for you, it’s imperative for company growth and the health of your work relationships to learn how to do that.
If your team doesn’t know what your expectations are, they don’t know how to hit them.
Work on establishing a better system for communicating with your team what your expectations are for each position. Share the company and/or department goals with your team so you can all strive to meet them together. In addition, when each team member knows the goals and how their work contributes to them, it leads to increased buy-in from the employees.
In general, employees want to know that their work matters and how to meet or exceed the expectations set for them. Learning to communicate your expectations effectively sets everyone up for success.
Learn how to delegate effectively
It’s also common for managers to struggle with delegation properly. See if you can relate to this: It can be hard to pass on tasks because you are used to doing them yourself. But you know it’s important to delegate for the company’s growth, so you try it. So, you pass a task on to an employee, but it’s not long before you realize it’s a complete failure. So, you end up redoing all the work on your own.
Does this sound familiar?
Delegation sounds like it should be simple; pass a job on to someone else so they will do it and you don’t need to. Easy enough, right? Wrong.
Many obstacles can arise when trying to delegate a task. It’s imperative that you clearly communicate all the information that needs to be shared. You must also delegate all of the decision-making and resources necessary for your employee to succeed at completing the task.
If your employee has to constantly check in with you to get answers or ask for approval throughout the process, you’re not really taking anything off your plate. Therefore, it’s essential to learn how to clearly communicate the information that employee needs and then trust them to make the necessary decisions to complete the task.
Listen to your employees
It’s important that you listen to your employees to keep a good read on your company culture. A breakdown in communication can lead to disgruntled employees and a frustrated manager.
It’s important that you learn how to receive feedback as a leader. However, this can be a struggle in many organizations. You may grow frustrated because you don’t feel like your employees understand what they need to. And, your employees may be frustrated because they don’t feel like you understand them. It’s a two-way street.
Working with a coach can help transform this area of your organization. Allowing a coach to meet with your employees separately from you places them in a position to act as a translator. An outside third party can hear what both sides are saying and help relay the information when needed.
Because a coach isn’t invested emotionally like you and your employees are, they can more clearly see the big picture. This allows the coach to be a safe sounding board for you and your employees. And it will help them to spot areas for improvement to help the company grow.
Take your first step today
If you’re ready to take action to overcome the obstacles your facing in your business, our SPEARity coaches are here to help. Contact us today to learn more about how leadership coaching, group coaching, and the SPEARity app can transform your organization.