Boost Employee Morale by Improving Your Communication Skills

You can definitely boost employee morale through improved communication skills. Companies are no longer just machines that churn out products or services. The people and softer issues around people management are becoming progressively more important for leaders to master.

Employees become demotivated when they fail to see the bigger picture and when information sharing is limited to a select few. They become rebellious or disengage when decision making is unilateral excluding their input. This is typically what occurs in ego driven companies where the focus is often on self-interest.

So how can you use your communication skills to boost employee morale?


Communicating a Common Vision and Shared Values

As a leader you need to get into the hearts and minds of your employees. Having a strong common identity with a strong vision and shared values will motivate employees. This will enable them to do what is best for the greater whole of the company. Your communication skills form a crucial part in this process.

How can you achieve this? There are so many great examples of inspirational leaders, from Martin Luther King, to Steve Jobs, to Nelson Mandela, etc. Each of them drew others into what they stood for i.e. the “Why” of their philosophy.

Talking about the real reason for your Company’s existence is what will engage employees. They want to know that what they are doing has meaning and is making a difference. When you are clear on your values, communicate and live them, you motivate your employees to align their own behaviour with the company’s values.

A Managing Director is very task and results driven. She purely focuses on the bottom-line of the company and is inclined to micro manage her employees. As a result her employees keep quiet about their concerns. They do not feel they have the freedom to express how they really feel. Morale is low. Even though the teams are rewarded well financially they are unhappy at work. The MD is going to need to learn to pull out of the detail and to empower and trust her employees who are fully capable of functioning more independently. She clearly needs to improve her communication skills: to consult with her employees.


Truly Connecting with Employees

All employees have a need to be heard and to be acknowledged. The trend is growing for employees to feel they are making a real difference and that their opinions count. Motivation and productivity increases dramatically when employees feel fulfilled at work.

It therefore is crucial for you to have good relationships with your employees. This means you need to be approachable. Listen to their views, ideas and comments. Take on a more collaborative approach: ask for their input and solutions to challenges. Communicate with them actively on important matters. You will need to make sure that you are robust enough to manage their input!

A senior of a business unit commented that he loves dialoguing and debating business challenges with his employees. He takes nothing personally. As a result his employees feel free to express their views that are often very different to his. It then becomes an exploration of the various options without anyone feeling defensive. He commented that attending a boys’ only boarding school taught him to stand up for himself and deal with conflict situations by sticking to the facts.

Studies highlight that close on 70% of employees indicated that their personal satisfaction was a result of the relationship between themselves and their senior! This clearly shows how important your role is in inspiring and motivating your teams through good communication skills.


Recognition and Acknowledgement

It is a normal human trait to want recognition. Through good communication skills you motivate employees to repeat their great performance.

Millennials are individuals born between 1982 and 1999. They value immediate feedback on their work. They prefer their managers to be transparent and honest. This means that they appreciate receiving feedback on an on-going basis on their work as opposed to waiting for performance appraisal time.

This means you need to be close enough to what they are doing to be able to give them feedback. Ensure that your feedback is very specific: what exactly is it that they did that you thought was great. E.g. A report they delivered was well structured, with clear headings, written logically with good arguments. Or the layout of an eBook they designed was creative, with wonderful images.

The trend these days is towards greater personal communication using all kinds of formats. Communication is aimed at engaging the hearts and minds of employees so that they feel valued as people, not just as resources.

If you would like improve your communication skills you would benefit from business coaching.



Posted in Communication.