Jesse Willms: Developing Communication With Your Staff Is Very Important

Posted by Jesse Willms on August 08, 2011

When you start your own business, you generally have an innovative idea you want to take to the marketplace. You have drive, ambition and a vision. But, no matter how motivated you are, your company won’t thrive if your staff doesn’t back you up.

The people who work for you are your greatest assets. If you have a team that respects you, they can help you become very profitable. But if they don’t have your back, they can hurt your business deeply.

Now, some people think the way to get their staff motivated is to be authoritarian. That simply doesn’t work. It just creates resentment, which works against you. The better way to do it is to develop communication skills with your staff. If they feel you are communicating with them, they’ll work harder and better.

But, many of us were not born with communication skills. We don’t know what to do. That’s why I’ve created this list of handy tips that can help you communicate better with your staff and help your business prosper.

  • Be happy. Nobody wants to work with someone who seems sad or stressed out. Smile and joke around with your employees when it’s appropriate. It will pay dividends.
  • Be generous with praise. People feel better when they feel like you have noticed they’ve done a good job.
  • Know about your employees’ lives. People are always worried that their boss sees them as just an expense and not a real human being. Get information about their personal lives. Ask them about their spouses and children. Find out where they are going on vacation. Learn what their hobbies are.
  • Really listen. When an employee brings you an idea, repeat it back to them in his or her own words. This will show your employee that you care about their ideas and what they have to say.
  • Encourage teamwork. Every member of your staff is important – and it’s just as important that they are able to work together. So, encourage social events for your staff. Don’t play favorites – because nobody likes to have to work with a “teacher’s pet”.
  • Mediate problems. From time to time, people working together will rub each other the wrong way. Pay attention and when you realize a problem has developed between two employees, bring them into your office, and work through the issue.
  • Choose your words carefully. You don’t want to create any misunderstandings in the office. Think about what you are going to say before you say it, and make sure that it could not be misconstrued as a slight.
  • Develop empathy. When you are dealing with your employees, try to think about how things look from their point of view. Imagine how you would want to be treated if you were in their shoes.
  • Keep your complaints to yourself. How do you feel when people complain? It gets boring pretty quickly, doesn’t it? Nobody likes a whiner. So, if things are going badly or you are stressed out, keep it to yourself. Your employees will not only be annoyed if you complain; they’ll worry about their job security.