Making Communication Clearer

There have been times when my employer will ask me what a certain employee because something has given him reason to wonder and he figures I should know since I’m the manager. If I do not know, which I may not at that very moment, he will wonder why.

Ask any manager and they will tell you that it is almost impossible to give an actual accounting of what each employee does, every minute of the day. Managers should know what the employee’s job tasks and responsibilities are, and they should have a system to know if they are being completed or not.

When setting up systems to make sure employees are completing the necessary tasks each day, there are four key communication points to use with employees to allow for clearer communication between them and the manager.

These four lines of communication need to be explained to each employee so they understand their importance. Managers need to have the employees report on what they are working on either daily or weekly depending on what their job consists of. This will allow the manager to be able to give an accounting to their supervisor or employer.

1. Employees need to communicate to their managers what their priorities are for the day or week. This will allow the manager to know what they will be working on, but it also will allow the manager to guide them if their priority list needs adjusting.

2. For some employees it is hard to ask their manager for clarification about a project or task they have been asked to complete.  They fear asking questions may make them appear less competent.  The manager needs to make sure their employees know that questions are encouraged so they can complete their tasks correctly. 

3. If an employee needs help in finishing their job tasks they also should be encouraged to talk with their manager and give an accounting as to why they need extra help, possible a coworker was sick and they had to cover for them. Managers would rather have an employee ask for the help than to run behind or let things pile up.

4. Make sure you are clear on deadlines for all of the employee’s projects and job tasks.  When an employee is asked by their manager to complete a task right away, make sure you define “what does right away means, is it days, hours and minutes?”  Do not assume the employee will know. By both parties understanding and being specific at what the deadlines are, everyone will be happy because the work will be done on time.

These four simple communication steps can be done quickly; they will save time and multiple questions throughout the work week. It is very important that the lines of communication are kept open between employees and their manager.

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