What Your Employees Want to Hear
Communicating with your team is crucial but it can be difficult, even for the best managers. Are you sure you’re doing a good job?
“One of the easiest ways to instantly improve your relationship with your own direct reports (and your overall team morale) is through communication,” writes Alyse Kalish for The Muse. “Making an effort can be the difference between a hard-working and engaged superstar and someone who’s just collecting a paycheck.”
Here are several conversations to have with your employees that can keep them engaged:
- “How are you?” You should ask members of your team this question every day, but it’s important that you pay attention to their answers, writes Kalish.
“Make sure you’re not just asking your employees how they’re doing but actually expressing interest in their response,” she explains. “This means reading between the lines and understanding when something bigger is simmering below the surface of their answer.”
- “How can I help?” Check in weekly with your team and focus on how they might need your assistance with their work.
“Make sure you’re checking in to see if they need assistance or even just an ear to bounce something off of—especially since they may be afraid to ask for it,” Kalish writes.
- “This is what I want you to prioritize.” When work is busy, or emergencies pop up, it can be hard for your team to know what takes precedent at what time.
“When this happens, don’t just explain why it’s happening but also how it’ll affect each individual and whether they need to reorganize their schedule, responsibilities, or priorities,” she writes.
- “What can I do to help you reach your goals?” “The best managers know that they can be your biggest advocate, but also your biggest blocker. So by asking this question, you can ensure you’re not accidentally standing in the way,” writes Kalish.
- “What are your long-term goals?” Asking this question more than once a year can help you understand your team better.
“You may be surprised to find they want to pick up projects that you really need done,” writes Kalish. “Or, you may discover a hidden passion you didn’t know they had. Or, you might realize their recent mediocre performance is due to working on things they aren’t excited about.”