Talent Connection Blog

Harvard Business Review recently did a study of employees’ top complaints about the leadership in their companies, with not recognizing employee achievements as the number one grievance among employees. This complaint, as well as several others, are detrimental to the employee engagement in your organization. So what else are employees complaining about, and how should you go about preventing those complaints? Keep reading to find out!

Sixty-three percent of employees in the study agreed that their achievements are not adequately recognized. This may be hard to believe, considering 90 percent of organizations have recognition programs, but it remains a large issue within many organizations. Other complaints included not giving clear directions, not offering constructive criticism, not asking about employees’ personal lives (or even remembering the employees’ names!), and not providing time to meet with employees one-on-one. These all sound like follies of a dysfunctional organization, but they can even be found in successful companies. Let’s acknowledge the root of the problem by identifying what they all have in common: communication.

Communication is relevant in virtually all aspects of business—and in everyday life. So why do we neglect it so easily? Don’t worry, it’s nothing personal. Sometimes, people just need a refresher course on how to talk to each other. That’s why, with the help of TLNT.com, we have provided you a list of communication reminders that’ll boost employee engagement.

  • Make small talk with your employees. Use what lifehacker calls the FORD technique—Family, Occupation, Recreation, and Dreams. Ask at least one simple question for each of those topics and you’re on your way to small talk with effective communication.
  • Make sure you seem like you’re listening well. A good way to do this is to ask a question that includes the last few words of what the other person said to you. This shows that you are interested in what they have to say, and can relate.
  • Give recognition where recognition is due. If you witness an employee doing or completing something that warrants praise, don’t hesitate to positively acknowledge their effort and knowledge. People naturally respond well to being praised for their efforts, and will be more likely to be engaged in the future.
  • Know your audience. Everyone communicates differently. A night owl will respond and react differently than an early bird. Same with introverts and extroverts. Some people prefer that you listen while they babble, others want you to do the talking while they throw in their opinion occasionally. Make an educated guess based on the individual’s personality to determine which method they would prefer.

Another tip to remember is that younger generations require more immediate and unique feedback than their counterparts. They are more comfortable with technology, and therefore rely on it more heavily for speedy communication especially. Make sure you can distinguish whether employees prefer a snappy e-mail response or an in-person conversation for their interoffice communication.

Communication consists of listening and responding appropriately. Use these tips of effective communication to avoid those employee complaints and safeguard employee engagement in your organization.