No Hablo Business: Why Employee Communication Is Key


In a world where the Internet and other technological advances have made keeping in touch easier than ever, we still have a communications problem.

I’ve worked at a host of companies over the years, and the most miserable work environments were those in which communication was either sporadic or non-existent. When managers and co-workers can’t or won’t make the time to check in, give guidance and feedback or just shoot the breeze for a few minutes, it’s easy to feel as though you’re operating in a vacuum. And I’m someone who likes working independently.

To combat that lingering business problem, the Harvard Business Review’s Ron Ashkenas has three tips to avoid pouring kerosene all over your communications bridge, in a manner of speaking. You’ll want to read the blog post yourself, but first check out our brief breakdown of the three points.

  1. Explain your reasons. If you’re sending out a major project, Ashkenas strongly recommends providing context for it. If your employees are unaware why this particular project is a priority or if it’s a priority at all, they may not treat it with the urgency the project deserves. Communicate the background of your requests clearly and you’ll avoid major headaches for everyone down the line.
  2. Encourage questions. Your meetings don’t have to turn into hours-long Q &A sessions, because those are tedious in the extreme. Ashkenas suggests that if you hold a meeting or presentation and nobody asks questions, they are less likely to absorb the message. Make sure to foster an environment where questions and a meaningful dialogue can rule the day.
  3. Build personal relationships. If you’re a manager, you may be tempted to go hands-off with your employees. In some cases, that may be the right decision. Yet there’s a major drawback involved in terms of not truly knowing your employees, how they will react to news and requests and how they work. Maintaining an open line of communication will help you build a relationship with an employee that will help you build trust, a precious commodity in the fast-paced world of business.

How do you handle communications at your business? Let us know!

Photo credit goes to graphiteBP at

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About the Author

Dave Choate is the lead writer for BizEngine, longtime blogger and voracious reader of all things business and news. Dedicated to delivering small business news, information and analysis that matters.

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