7 Tips for Improving Communication Between Managers and Employees

Employee communication can make or break your business success. According to SIS International Research, organizations with roughly 100 employees could lose more than $525,000 annually due to ineffective manager-employee communication.

So what can you do to ensure your communication with employees is helping, not hindering, engagement? Follow these guidelines below:

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1. Be personal.

Get to know your employees, interact with them on a personal level, and make them the subject of your communication. When you focus on your employees and show that your investment in them extends beyond the workplace, you’ll spark interest and grasp their attention. To make your communication more personal, get on a first-name basis, share their excitement and concerns, and stimulate your connection frequently.


2. Share your passion.

Live and breathe the organization’s brand in every form of your communication. When employees see, hear, and feel that leaders are dedicated to the organization, committed to its mission, and engaged, they will be too. Let your communication prove that you are passionate about the products or services you offer, the people you employ, and the customers you serve.


3. Listen to and ask for feedback.

Top-notch communicators know that great communication is a two-way street. Take your expert listening skills one step further and ask for employee feedback to maximize engagement. A good place to start is with an employee engagement survey. When you gather, analyze, and act on employee feedback, you will prove that you care about your employees, their workplace, and the entire organization.


4. Recognize employees.

It’s no secret that recognition (or lack thereof) directly impacts an employee’s level of engagement. In fact, research shows that feeling unrecognized and undervalued is one of the seven hidden reasons why employees leave their organizations. Give employees what they want, and cultivate engagement via communication. Communicate employee value with recognition practices, like praise from senior leadership, increased autonomy, or meaningful rewards.


5. Radiate positivity.

Dale Carnegie’s recent findings show that employee engagement is emotional and positive emotions can lead to an engaged workforce. Be mindful of how your communication makes employees feel. Do they leave a conversation feeling confident and inspired or unappreciated and disheartened? To avoid negativity in the workplace, project a positive manner in all your employee interactions.


6. Be open and honest.

It’s a simple concept but perhaps one of the hardest aspects of communication in the workplace, especially when conflict arises. However, when you are consistently open and honest with your communication (regardless of the situation), you will gain credibility, respect, and most importantly, employee trust.


7. Act on your word.

All modes of communication impact employees, including nonverbal. In order to maintain the credibility, respect, and employee trust you’ve gained through open and honest communication, back up your word with action. If you’ve promised to implement new recognition practices based on your most recent survey results, do it. Then, take it one step further and communicate that action.


Communication is a powerful tool that can have an enormous impact on the success of your organization. Effective manager-employee communication can increase employee engagement, boost workplace productivity, and drive business success. Conversely, poor communication can have damaging effects. Implement these seven tips into daily interactions to make sure your communication is fostering an engaged workforce.

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Published June 5, 2018 | Written By Natalie Wickham