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"Help! I have no idea what my manager is thinking!"

By partnersinhr, Jun 7 2017 04:40PM

Are bosses misunderstood? If staff are unaware as to what their boss is thinking, be it about their own promotion prospects, or the direction of the company, maybe it comes down to communication?

It was found that 95% of respondents to a business survey admitted that they planned to replace face-to-face meetings with another form of communication - be it through email, phone or intranet. In an age when it is becoming easier to send employees an email rather than call them in for a chat, bosses can gain a lot from demonstrating a personal touch.

What's the problem?

There are many reasons why bosses should endeavour to be an open book. Research by the Harvard Business Review shows that employees believe the second biggest communication issue which affects their relationship with their boss is "not giving clear directions" (57%), with the top spot going to "not recognising employees achievements".

Staff who feel confident in the knowledge of where a business is going and how they can contribute, feel more engaged, motivated, and enjoy peace of mind - that all adds up to stability. But in the day-to-day quest to secure new business, keep existing clients happy and generally steer the ship, it is easy for bosses to forget that their staff need to know the future of the organisation they are working in.

What to do?

There are plenty of ways in which bosses can reconnect and reinvigorate their employees. Holding regular one-on-one meetings & informal chats over a coffee can do wonders for a relationship, as can organising 'away days' where the entire team or department can come together out of the office. This can take the form of 'half work, half play', with half the day focusing on business strategy in a relaxed environment with the boss taking the lead followed by half a day being devoted to team building or having fun.

What else?

Communication is a two-way process, and by ensuring employees are continually invited to offer their feedback and ideas, you can see an increase in their engagement. Likewise, appraisals can be used to show how individual targets link to the business objectives, and for those employees who do not work on-site, a staff e-newsletter can be crucial to keeping staff up to date about what's been going on, business results, team achievements and future projects.

Cultural values and beliefs in an organisation originate from the top and often the business owner sets the tone. As businesses grow it is vital to ensure the growing the workforce understand, support and live the culture. For this reason it can be beneficial to articulate and promote the company aims, beliefs and values either formally eg. ‘How we work’’ on a website or simply leading by example.

Contact us to see how Partners in HR can put smart human resources strategies in place for your business,

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