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Communication Mistakes in the Workplace from Projections, Inc.

Communication Mistakes in the Workplace

We all know what’s supposed to excite employees – raises, getting out early on Fridays, crazy hat Wednesdays to spice up the humdrum workweek. But does your management team really understand motivation from the perspective of the employee? Put an end to these communication mistakes that are discouraging your employees.

COMMUNICATION MISTAKES LEADING TO WORKPLACE CONFUSION

Sure, we all know those employees who make no genuine effort and complain even when management attempts to improve things. But mature employees respond positively to clear direction and leadership. If several of your employees from different departments were interviewed, would they give the same answers to questions like, “How is the company organized?” Getting a variety of different answers to this kind of question shows a lack of cohesion, or worse, a complete misunderstanding of the corporate goals and chaos at the company.

In short, if you are hearing about little incidents of confusion or mistakes, assume that a deeper underlying issue needs to be addressed. Leadership needs to be trained on the communication mistakes that they are making. Training is not a week-long event for new hires but an ongoing process for all employees.

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This is where a well-thought out communication strategy involving video, an employee website, and even interactive eLearning can help all employees get on the same page and eliminate confusion.

REMOVING NEGATIVES WITHOUT INTRODUCING POSITIVES

According to a study by the University of Vermont, people from around the world experienced better moods in the morning, dipped throughout the afternoon and peaked again in the evening. The study revealed how managers can’t simply remove negatives, like low pay or long hours, to boost employee motivation. This will only bring employees to neutral.

Once the negatives of the environment are removed, management should begin educating employees about the positives – why it matters personally for employees to succeed at the company. Communicate clearly with employees about how their contributions contribute to the larger goals of the company – this type of employee message creates a giant positive for the entire workforce.

COMMUNICATION MISTAKES OF ENCOURAGING COMPETITION

From a management perspective, it makes sense that the hardest working employees should reap the benefits. Thus to weed out the slackers, you put your employees to the test – who has the best attitude or is the most creative? But in reality, all employees have this potential, and making your staff compete for treats is a surefire way to create resentment.

Instead of encouraging competition, which creates tension between and within employees, encourage respect. Your employees were hired with the confidence that they were skilled and capable. Don’t revoke that respect once they clock in.

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By regularly engaging with employees to let them know their efforts are appreciated, you’ll show them that you respect them, something that can be inspirational for the entire company!

LEAVING OBSTACLES IN THE ROAD

In 2014, Monster discussed a puzzling phenomenon in the workplace that has been growing – employees failing to use paid time off. Their assertion was that companies discourage vacation time in subtle ways; for example, by adopting complicated protocols for requesting time off or rewarding employees who don’t take vacations with more hours. If you find these roadblocks at your company, work to remove them.

Even better, communicate at least annually with employees about the benefits available to them, and how they can take advantage of them. This kind of communication elevates your employer brand and instantly raises employee satisfaction.

By being aware of these common communication mistakes, your management team can operate more smoothly with its employees. It’s not always logistical changes that need to be made, but expectation changes on both sides. The Projections employee communication team can help you connect with employees and set expectations precisely where they should be for your employer brand.

About the Author Walter Orechwa

Walter is Projections’ CEO and the founder of UnionProof & A Better Leader. As the creator of Union Proof Certification, Walter provides expert advice, highly effective employee communication resources and ongoing learning opportunities for Human Resources and Labor Relations professionals.

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