Think you communicate well with your staff? There’s probably room for improvement

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We all know that good communication is the key to fostering positive relationships in the workplace and building a high-performing dealership—but how well do you communicate with your staff?
Most managers probably think they do an alright job of it; however, there’s probably some room for improvement.
If you think you could be getting more out of the conversations you have with your employees, here’s what we believe you need to start doing to build better lines of communication in your workplace.

How often do you sit down for a one-on-one chat?

From emails and phone conversations to instant messages, casual face-to-face interactions or team meetings, workplace communication happens every day through a variety of channels. While it might seem like a lot of communication, if you really want to know if your employees are feeling engaged and satisfied, it might require something a little more structured.
The reality is that most forms of communication that happen in the workplace don’t encourage the types of conversations that need to take place to strengthen the relationships employees have with their managers.
If you’re the type of manager that tends to save one-on-one chats for quarterly performance reviews, scheduling more frequent conversations with each of your employees could make a big difference.
In fact, feedback collected by Officevibe from more than 30,000 workers identified that most employees believe the ideal frequency of communication with their manager would be somewhere between weekly and monthly. So, if your regular catchups are currently organised ‘as needed’ rather than regularly, it’s probably time to change things up.
communicatewellwithstaff | Teamrecruit

The key to establishing good lines of communication

The simplest way to build open lines of communication is to provide the opportunity for those important conversations to happen.
Make a point of scheduling regular catchups with each of your staff where you talk about more than just task progress. Formalise these meetings with an agenda which includes time to not only discuss progress updates but also to discuss how they feel they are performing, provide constructive feedback, and to raise any other issues that might be a point of concern.
Once established, your staff will get to know that they can count on having this regular one-on-one time with you. This is particularly beneficial if they’re not the type to raise issues or challenges naturally through daily interactions. They will know this is their opportunity to get things out in the open while they have your undivided attention without the risk of others overhearing or interjecting.

What you need to be asking them about

Establishing regular one-on-one catchups is the first step. Now you have each other’s full attention, what should you be talking about?
It’s important to use this time to have the right conversations that will uncover where each of you are at, as this knowledge can be invaluable in helping to build a stronger, more mutually beneficial relationship.

If you’re unsure what questions to ask to get the most out of these conversations, try asking them about:

  • whether they feel challenged
  • whether they feel recognised
  • whether they feel they’re receiving enough support
  • whether they feel their strengths are being utilised
  • whether they feel there is ample opportunity for growth
  • if there are any issues they want to raise
Taking the time to discuss these topics on a regular basis (rather than only when there is a problem) will demonstrate to your staff that you genuinely care about how they’re feeling, their level of engagement, and their longer-term aspirations.
High performers who are feeling bored or undervalued will be able to ask for more challenging tasks or responsibilities. Disgruntled staff will have a platform to air their grievances early on before they’re given the opportunity to develop into something more detrimental to the dealership. Similarly, staff that are simply cruising along will be encouraged to set themselves some goals and challenges.
No matter what you uncover through these conversations, over time what you’ll most likely find is that you’ve built a far better understanding of each of your individual employees. You’ll have a team of workers who feel heard, engaged, and supported—and what could be better than that!
Teamrecruit is Australia’s most established recruitment agency specialising in truck, earthmoving and agricultural machinery dealerships in Australia, New Zealand, the South Pacific and Southeast Asia. Find out more about Teamrecruit and how we support employers and candidates in the dealership industry.

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