“What we have here is a failure to communicate.”
It’s a sentence spoken at different points in the 1967 film Cool Hand Luke, but it’s also a sentence that’s resonating within today’s work environments.
According to a new Accountemps survey, lack of communication is the most frequent mistake management makes.
Lack of recognition and praise was listed as the second most common mistake made my managers.
The survey, developed by Accountemps, included responses from more than 270 CFOs from a stratified random sample of Canadian companies with 20 or more employees.
CFOs were asked, “What one mistake do companies make most in managing their employees?” Their responses:
Lack of communication between staff and management…………………. 39%
Lack of recognition and praise…………. 16%
Lack of training, development and/or educational opportunities………. 13%
Lack of authority given to employees……. 11%
Lack of flexibility in work schedules……. 6%
Don’t know/no answer………………….. 15%
“Employees want to be kept current on company news and able to have access to their supervisors,” said Kathryn Bolt, Canadian president of Accountemps. “It is essential for managers to invest the time and effort into consistent dialogue with employees. A lack of open and honest communication can result in employees feeling left out and undervalued, damaging morale and productivity in the process.”
Accountemps highlights five things managers should say to employees on a regular basis:
- “Here’s what’s happening.” Whether it’s updates on the company’s financial performance, department initiatives or group projects, keep staff abreast of organizational information that affects them and their responsibilities. Keeping people in the dark will lead to tension and rumours.
- “Do you have what you need?” Take the time to find out if your team members have the right resources to perform their work effectively.
- “Thank you.” Thank and praise staff who go above and beyond. Call attention to successes by highlighting them in staff meetings and sending a group-wide email recognizing those who helped and copying relevant managers.
- “What challenges are you facing?” Often, employees are hesitant to voice concerns when problems arise. It’s essential to proactively ask staff members what’s going on and how you may be able to help.
- “How can we improve the company?” Invite staff members to suggest things they can do to help achieve business objectives. You may be pleased to discover how innovative and resourceful your employees are.