Communicating with employees - checklist

Reviewed by Astan Morarji, NewCoLegal.

Communicating with employees - checklist

Good communication is key if you want to help your staff feel fulfilled and do the best job possible. Read our list of points to consider.

  • Give employees the information they need (eg policies and technical information) or are legally entitled to (eg for health and safety or employment law).
  • Use communication to help employees perform - by agreeing clear objectives, providing feedback and recognising achievements.
  • Communicate regularly to build your relationship with individuals and teams; take a personal interest in them, and take part in social events.
  • Aim for open, honest two-way communication; make yourself available, encourage employees to raise problems and suggestions, and listen.
  • Plan communications: think about your objectives and break down your message into a small number of key points.
  • Anticipate your audience?s attitude, current knowledge and level of interest; choose a time when they are likely to be receptive.
  • Give advance warning when appropriate - for example, if an employee will need to prepare; circulate an agenda before group meetings.
  • Choose the right medium - for example, the phone for a quick discussion, email or memos for complex information or where you need a written record, an instant message (such as text message) for brief instructions and information or your intranet for company-wide information such as company policies and news.
  • Follow up written communications, particularly if they cover complex issues; don?t assume signs and memos will be read and understood.
  • Handle sensitive communications face-to-face.
  • Use clear, appropriate language; be specific about action points, deadlines and responsibilities.
  • Build trust: be positive, patient and polite; explain yourself, particularly when overriding an employee?s suggestion; and do what you say you will.
  • Control discussions: stick to the agenda, and keep things brief.
  • Confirm understanding and agreement; review outcomes to see whether communications have been effective.
  • Practise communication skills: asking open-ended questions, listening and ensuring you understand; using positive body language.

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