What employees want Featured

10:10am EDT September 27, 2004
Every business' success depends on communication. And to be a good communicator, a manager's actions should speak louder than words, says a survey by staffing service firm OfficeTeam.

The survey found that the top action -- cited by 28 percent of respondents -- that employees seek from managers is that they stand up for their employees.

Twenty-four percent of respondents said putting a lid on office politics was another way to improve communication; 22 percent said they'd like to see their managers talk less and listen more.

"Managers who promote employees' viewpoints, support their staff and limit the impact of office politics show they value and respect their team members," says Diane Domeyer, executive director of OfficeTeam. "In leading by example, they not only encourage staff to develop similar skills but also promote a more positive corporate culture."

It's all about a manager's ability to connect with his or her staff.

"Most employees expect their managers to have solid communication skills to assign projects and keep the department running smoothly," Domeyer says.

She offers five ways to improve communication at your office.

* Don't fuel the rumor mill. When managers limit top-down communication, the rumor mill kicks into high gear. If your staff doesn't hear the news from you, they'll most likely get it from another source.

* Hold all employees to the same performance standards. Be consistent in communicating and maintaining your expectations for quality. Allowing individual employees or situations to fall under the radar will fuel speculation of favoritism.

* Observe and listen during meetings. How do others speak to or about your team? If people are being questioned unfairly or criticized, speak up in their defense.

* Be accessible. Don't let e-mails and voice mails pile up without acknowledging them. If you can't address questions immediately, tell your staff when you can.

* Ask questions. One-on-one, impromptu discussions with team members can give you an indication of any political issues brewing before they escalate.

Source: OfficeTeam, www.officeteam.com