Businesses spend time and resources learning how to speak to clients.
You do this through your copywriters, website designers, and messaging experts, all to make sure that your message is truly connecting.
Now look inward: are you also connecting with your employees? Are they hearing the things you truly want them to hear?
The good news is that the same rules apply.
Talking to employees
Use real words.
Minimize the jargon, minimize the acronyms, and minimize the cliches.
The more overused or vague a term is, the more space you are allowing for a misunderstanding, even if it is industry jargon in your office.
How often have you felt like you said one thing but your employee did another? That was probably due to miscommunication.
Use everyday language, be clear and explicit, and replace all jargon with dinner-table words.
And as a general rule, try to keep your part of the conversation to four sentences maximum between times that they speak. Conversations are always more effective than monologues.
Writing to employees
Say less, format more.
Do not write more than is necessary for the particular message.
And when you are writing instructions, delegation, and requests or demands, use formatting.
The longer the written communication – email or otherwise – the higher the need to use section titles. If you list anything, use bullet points to make it clear and easy to follow.
Summarize at the beginning and end.
And once you start to get far beneath the fold, ask yourself if it would be better to pick up the phone instead.
Never, under any circumstances, ask your employees to “think outside the box”.
The first step in communicating with your employees is knowing what to say. Let’s review your organizational chart and make sure that the right people are doing the right jobs.