The most common management mistake has an easy remedy: don't keep employees in the dark. In a new Accountemps survey, 41 percent of chief financial officers interviewed 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 28 percent of respondents.
“Employees want to be kept in the loop and feel appreciated,” said Max Messmer, chairman of Accountemps. “An organization can only be successful if its employees have the information and support they need to do their jobs well and a forum for two-way communication.”
Accountemps says there are five things managers should say to employees on a regular basis:
1. “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 rumors.
2. “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.
3. “Thank you.” Thank and praise staff who go above and beyond. Call attention to successes by highlighting them in staff meetings and sending a groupwide e-mail recognizing those who helped and copying relevant managers.
4. “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.
5. “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.