By JP George

Of all the contributors to employee satisfaction, the ability for managers to communicate effectively with employees is right at the top of the list.

Organizations that stress good communication practices in the workplace typically enjoy greater productivity and profitability due to higher employee satisfaction and retention rates.

If you’re looking to reap the benefits of improved workplace communication, but aren’t sure how to do it effectively, just follow these 7 simple guidelines:

1. Keep it Personal
Texts, Tweets, Emails and other technologies are increasingly being used to communicate in the office. So much communication these days is impersonal. To enhance communication in the workplace, managers need to interact with employees on a personal level—face-to-face—to show them that they are truly interested in who they are and what they are doing. Recognizing that managers are taking time and effort to engage them helps employees feel more valued, satisfied and productive.

2. Share Passions and Corporate Objectives Openly
Enthusiasm is contagious. Managers who openly share their passions and genuine enthusiasm for the company tend to have more excited and motivated employees. In addition, managers who openly share corporate objectives help employees to better see the big picture and the important role they are playing in moving the company forward. Knowing that what they are doing makes a difference helps all employees feel better about their jobs.

3. Encourage Honest Feedback
Employees enjoy working in an environment where their ideas and opinions matter. Soliciting honest feedback from employees without the fear of retribution for negative comments is a powerful communications tool for managers. Employee Engagement Surveys are effective, as they allow employees to make comments anonymously. But soliciting ideas and suggestions during face-to-face encounters is often the best approach.

4. Take Action
Asking for employee feedback and then failing to take action is a great way to shut down communication by showing employees that their ideas and suggestions don’t really matter—so why bother? In addition, managers who fail to act run the risk of alienating employees and driving morale, productivity and job satisfaction down significantly. When employees see that their ideas and suggestions are being taken seriously and acted upon, they will be more likely to keep contributing and have greater satisfaction in their work.

5. Break Down Barriers
By nature, walls will always exist between employees and management.
Managers need to be aware of these walls and take steps to break them down before they become serious barriers to communication. A good way for managers to eliminate these walls is to get out of their offices and engage and interact with employees. Doing so will help employees see that their managers are approachable and help them feel more comfortable in bringing ideas, comments or concerns directly to them.

6. Always Stay Positive
In all communications with employees, it is imperative that managers remain upbeat and positive. Studies show that employee engagement has a strong emotional component and any negative emotions conveyed by management when interacting with employees can essentially rub off and lead to disengagement and decreased job satisfaction. When communicating with employees, managers need to avoid negativity and strive to make employees feel confident, inspired and motivated when they leave the conversation.

7. Show Recognition in Relevant Ways
It’s great to be recognized for a job well done. And it’s no surprise that employees who feel recognized and appreciated by management are more satisfied with their jobs than those who feel undervalued. The key for management is to make recognition an ongoing process, and to get to know each employee well. That way appreciation and recognition can be shown, not in some generic one-size-fits-all display, but in ways that are personal, meaningful and relevant to each employee.

Effective communication between managers and employees is critical for keeping employees, not just satisfied with their jobs, but excited to come to work each day, knowing that their role is vital to the company’s success.

@JPGeorge3 grew up in a small town in Washington. After receiving a Master’s degree in public relations, JP has worked in a variety of positions, from agencies to corporations all across the globe. Experience has made JP an expert in topics relating to leadership, talent management, and organizational business.