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Communication is an important part of promoting employee engagement in your company, but it’s possible that you’re not doing it right. Are you making one of these four common mistakes and not getting the results you want?
Employees appreciate knowing how they’re doing. That’s where metrics come into play. Without the use of metrics, employees just have to hope that their boss notices how hard they’re working. That could be a recipe for disaster. One, you don’t want your managers to be closely following employees all day long. Two, even if that’s all they did, your managers can’t possibly notice everything employees are doing right.
That’s why you should use measurable metrics to hold your employees accountable if at all possible. This works in almost every profession. It might be easiest to measure the output of salespeople, but you can do the same for HR, accounting and customer service, too. Instead of the number of sales or calls made, you’ll be tracking things like applications processed, invoices processed and customers helped. If you’re not sure what to measure, ask your team for their input on what metrics they believe measures success and progress. If it’s not measurable, it’s not an actionable goal.
Your managers can and should still tell your employees when they’ve done a great job, but most people respond better to visual communication. If you want your employees to know how they’re doing, then you have to help them visualize it.
Sometimes charts and graphs are better than just using numbers, but it always depends on what you’re measuring. Salespeople might like a scoreboard to find out who is the best salesperson on their team. If you want to encourage your employees to jointly reach a goal instead of having them compete with each other, you can put up a progress display and goals for the entire department instead.
If your employees don’t know how they’re doing right now, then the metrics you display aren’t as useful as they could be. Of course, it’s nice to see a summary of what happened last month, but employees need to know how they’re doing this week and today. If they’re close to reaching a daily goal and they know it, then they’ll strive harder to make it happen.
Letting your employees know what you expect of them and giving them real-time feedback on how they’re doing is a big part of motivating your workforce. However, there is one more ingredient you need to worry about – inspiring action.
There are lots of things you can do to inspire your employees to go the extra mile. For salespeople, a little personal competition might help. Most people appreciate unexpected rewards and bonuses for when they do very well, but at the very least, you have to offer recognition of some kind. Managers can praise high achievers in team meetings, but don’t forget to reward the employees who are dramatically improving their performance, even if that doesn’t catapult them to the top of the team. After all, motivating employees is all about motivating each of them to be the very best they can be.
When it comes to employee communication, your company has to focus on using metrics, communicating them visually and in real time, and consequently inspiring action in your workforce. If you leave out any of these four steps, you may not get the results you want.
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