The single best problem in communication is the illusion that it has taken place. ~George Bernard Shaw
Communication between top management and employees is often considered as a challenge. However, clear and ongoing communication between them can open doors of success without any roadblocks like confusions or misunderstandings, delays or failures.
Communication is a necessity when two or more individuals work together. Unfortunately, the lack of communication is a common concern for every workplace, especially when it is between top management and the employees. Fear, doubts, mistrust, lack of proper communication channel, inappropriate timing, etc. are several reasons that create a gap between the upper management and executives. This communication gap creates an adverse effect on employee engagement rates.
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Whatever the reason, bridging this gap is extremely important for maintaining a positive and healthy work environment with a common goal of success.
Here are a few corrective measures for employers and employees that can drive change in your organization.
TIPS FOR EMPLOYERS
1. Determine the Causes: As an employer or a leader, it is impossible to overlook problems for long around you. Interacting with your employees is as important as assigning them the work and getting it done. Improper communication causes delays or erroneous work. Hence, it is your responsibility to look into the potential causes creating gap between you and your workforce. Identify the factors that led to this gap. You can create a list of questions – Do I have a proper communication channel in my organisation? Which team or employee (s) is responsible for the improper transmission of information? Am I lacking proper communication? Answers to these questions will open doors for solutions towards improvement.
2. Listen More Often: Yes, you’re the boss! It’s your responsibility to assign work, enquire about issues, maintain order, penalize for mistakes and take actions whenever required. But what most employers or managers forget is that they are also leading a team. Hence, they do have responsibilities as a leader.
One of the top responsibilities of every leader is to LISTEN carefully. Have the patience and keep all your ears open and attention focussed to what your employees are trying to convey. Take time to understand them and then speak. This will make them feel they are being heard and that you are genuinely interested in communicating with them. Further, this would enhance a sense of trust among your employees. Plus, you too would be able to understand their situation better and look for the best solutions.
3. Keep Employees in the Loop: In a study, it was found that nearly 25% of the employees feel disengaged from the decisions made by top management. Another survey revealed that over 90% of the employees have no idea about their company’s real time progress.
These stats make it clear why employees hesitate in communicating with their managers. It’s simple! They feel they are being kept in dark and hence do not trust their management which results in a communication gap eventually.
Hence, as a manager, it is your responsibility to enlighten your workforce regularly about what’s going with the company. Remember, employees’ trust is the key to your success, which can only be earned with communication and transparency.
Bonus Tip: Be Vigilant
Remember it’s an organisation and there’d be employees creating an unhealthy environment and disrupting communication channels. Hence, make sure to take corrective actions against such employees.
Tips for Employees
- Know your Employers: It’s pretty simple: the more you know your managers, the easier it gets interacting with them. Often workers consider their managers as bossy, rude, scary and hence resist approaching them. Here, it is important to realize that your manager is an individual like you with responsibilities higher than yours and that their designation has nothing to do with their behaviour. Even an executive sitting beside you can be as arrogant and scary like you believe your boss to be. Hence, the only way to open up with your managers is by getting to know them better.
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- Work on your Communication Skills: One potential causes of communication gap between top management and employees is poor communication skills of the employees. When employees are not confident about how they speak, look and present them before their seniors, they often resist standing near to them or interact well. While it is good that you truly respect your managers but considering yourself inferior doesn’t help you in any way. Again the reason behind this inferiority is poor communication skills. As a solution, improve your communication skills by participating more in discussions, opt for grooming classes, enrol to any English speaking course, read more often, etc. Have faith in yourself and awake your confidence. Remember, clear and open communication is the key to building trust with your managers which can be earned through self-confidence.
Communication gap is a serious concern for every organisation and can be resolved through thoughtful efforts only. And since this issue is associated with managers and employees, working together on a solution can truly help. Remember, you are a team and each team member has to play its part to triumph.
Be Clear! Be Interactive!