You know that communication is an important skill in the workplace. But in the frenzy of the workday, it can be something that’s overlooked and subtly affects employee morale. The reality is that your word choice can greatly impact your employees, and approaching it the right way can create a more positive and productive work environment. This Valentine’s Day, think about how you speak to your team to win over their hearts once again.
there is no “I” in team
Something as simple as starting a sentence with ”I,” like “I want…” or “I finished…” can cause a rift between colleagues. Conversations presented this way can send a message that the work is not the result of an overall team effort. Shifting to inclusive language can express that employees are working alongside management, not separately. Choose words like “we” and “our” to establish rapport with your employees. It conveys to staff that you believe you are all are collectively working toward the same goals.
overcome trust issues
Use phrases that reinforce your employees’ ability to do their jobs. Phrases like “I’ll handle it” or “do it this way” can be perceived as micromanaging and can put a damper on team spirit. Employees want to feel as if they’re completely capable and trusted to carry out their work.
Verbalize your confidence in their ability to get the job done with phrases like “I need your help” or “I trust you.” Complex or long-term projects are seldom one-person jobs, and you’ll inspire the entire team by expressing your faith in their individual and collective talents.
keep the conversation going
When you lead your team meetings, be mindful of the language you use, and try to draw employees into the conversation. Encourage employees by developing thoughtful, open-ended questions for them to respond to. Welcome an open dialogue by including statements like, “I’m interested in hearing your opinion.” Questions that can quickly be answered with a “yes” or “no” don’t entice workers to use their voices. And that’s a recipe for disengaged, uninspired employees. According to a recent Randstad study, 53 percent of employees don’t feel their bosses value their opinions. But with the right approach, you can avoid making the mistake over half of managers make.
simply show some love
While it’s easy to get caught up in the chaos of meetings and deadlines, don’t neglect to give credit where credit is due. A simple “thank you” still goes a long way, especially when employees are not hearing it enough. Surprisingly, Randstad’s Boss's Day study found that 20 percent of employees say their boss takes credit for their work. Don’t be that boss.
Saying “thank you” is not only the right way to build relationships in the workplace, it also shapes your employees’ perceptions of you. Gratitude in turn garners respect and can leave a lasting impact on what employees say — not only about you, but about your company as an employer.
Thoughtful communication should be at the core of your engagement and retention strategy. It will help reduce your chances of employees breaking up with you to explore other job options, where the grass may be greener. Your words impact morale and overall job satisfaction on a day-to-day basis. Choose them wisely!
For more tips on how to attract, retain and engage your employees, visit Randstad’s Workforce360.