Lack of communication top management mistake: Survey

Keep employees updated on company, seek staff suggestions
||Last Updated: 05/01/2012

Lack of communication is the most common management mistake, according to a survey by Accountemps.

More than one-third (39 per cent) of the 270 CFOs surveyed said lack of communication between staff and management is the most frequent misstep companies make in managing their teams. Lack of recognition and praise was cited by 16 per cent of respondents, followed by lack of training, development or educational opportunities at 13 per cent.

"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."

According to Accountemps, there are 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 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 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.

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