Managing employees: The HR essentials all employers and managers need to know!

Video Eight – Effective Communication

KATH: Hello and welcome to the eighth video in our series of HR Essentials, Managing Employees or Employers Need to Know. I’m Kath from Compass Business Support, and I’m here again today with Paulette from Fresh HR Insights. Hey Paulette, how are you?

PAULETTE: I’m good. Thank you for having me back, I really love these session.

I know. It’s so great. I’m really enjoying it too. So today we’re actually talking about effective communication in the workplace and people really listening. And I wanted to tell a little story about a workplace that I was working at in Sydney for a very long time, a very long time ago. And they had what they called, it wasn’t a hierarchy system, it was called a lattice system. So, it meant that you could have the freedom to go and talk to anybody in that business about anything that was going on. So, whether that was managing director, or whether that was the storeman, or whether that was one of the sales guys. It didn’t matter. You had the freedom to be able to communicate with any of the people within that business about any subject that you wanted to talk to them about. So, it was a really great way for … It was a really great culture for people to be able to communicate with each other.

And with that, I mean, that’s amazing. That’s a really great organization.

Quite rare.

Yeah, very, very rare as well. So was there any conflict that ever happened?

Nothing. No. It was this open-door policy across the board, and it was … Yeah, it was actually, an amazing place to work and I only left there because I was having a baby, so yeah.

Yeah, and it’s really important to have the open policies within the workplace for talking and communicating with your staff. Really setting down the expectations as well. As we said in last month’s video as well, when we’re talking about disciplinary [inaudible 00:01:47] as well as making sure that you nip things in the bud straight away. But it’s also, as we talked all the way through, and especially when we talked about policies and procedures, having the expectations very clear. And effective communication is important part it. So actually talking to your team. They don’t bite. They are actually willing to listen and don’t be afraid to talk to them. But a big thing is, talk to people the way you want to be spoken to. It’s really about respect as well.

Right. Absolutely. It’s going to go both ways. If you want to earn their respect you need to be able to give that as well.

Definitely. Definitely. And we all hide behind our phones. We all hide behind emails. Get off your desk, or out from behind your desk, not off your desk. And actually, go over and talk to someone. Ask them how their day is. We have this R U OK Day one day a year where it actually should be every day.

Every day, yes. Absolutely.

Yes. So when you’re talking to your team as well as a leader or a manager, actually be present. And what I mean by that is actually stop what you’re doing and actually listen to them. Now don’t listen to respond. So don’t start formulating how you’re going to reply in your head, but actually listen to learn.

And listen to actually hear what they’re saying. Listen to their point of view.

Yeah. Now we’re not always going to agree. And you can always say, “Look, I don’t agree with your points, and we’ll have to agree to disagree, but what can we do to move forward.” And it’s just being respectful of the other person and respectful of their viewpoint, respectful of how they’re feeling, but also be respectful of the way they want to be spoken to. So if you talk to someone angrily, what happens back?

Of course, they’re going to be on the back foot, and that’s how they’re going to respond.

So they’re going to get aggressive back. So yeah, it really is about the tone of voice, the body language, the setting. If someone’s got something important to tell you, make the time to listen to them. And if you have got something important to say, make sure that people understand what you’re saying, the reasons why as well. So not the, “This is going to happen.” “This is going to happen due to business changes. This is what we’re going to put in place. This is how it’s going to affect you. This is what it’s going to look like going forward. If anyone have any question, my door’s open, come and talk to me.”

I think that’s it. Creating that open-door policy. And make that very clear in your induction process too, I think that’s the time to lay those foundations so you’re creating that culture within your business.

And valuing people’s opinions as well, and valuing people’s viewpoints, because if you just boo hoo at every single time, people are going to stop talking to you. They’re going to start murmuring behind your back. And then you’re going to get some really uncomfortable atmospheres going on within the workplace. It’s best just to be open. Yes there is private and confidential information that doesn’t need to be discussed with your employees, but where at all possible, keep them in the loop.

That’s right. And you know, sometimes your employees can have really great suggestions as well, so if you’ve got that culture within your business, that allows them to come forward with ideas and suggestions, then it’s actually a great way to help your business to grow.

Yeah. A grape vine is fed by the uncertainty.

I like that. Interesting.

Another saying I heard the other day is a fish always rots from the head.

Yes. Very true.

So always, as a leader, as a manager, be the one to lead by example.

That’s right. Absolutely. Okay. Is there anything else that we need to talk about with effective communication within the workplace today?

Well just respect others and keep talking to others and value for the people for why they’re actually there and the skills that they bring and ask for opinions.

Thank you very much for joining us today. And we’ll see you again next month. And as always, don’t forget the links below for our amazing offers that we’ve got for you and fact sheets.

 

Freebies

Fact Sheet – Effective Communication 

Employee Input Policy 

Identify Your Communication Style

eBooks and Other Great Products and Services

Small Business HR Starter Kit

Top 9 Burning HR Questions

Base Employee Handbook