DENVER, April 18, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- Good communication with the boss is critical for a positive and productive work environment. However, many employees struggle to communicate effectively with their supervisors, according to Mary C. Kelly, Ph.D., author of "Why Leaders Fail and the 7 Prescriptions for Success," a leadership book that dives deeper into the surprisingly common mistakes managers, CEOs and supervisors unknowingly make that ultimately derail their success.
According to a 2017 Gallup poll, only 54 percent of employees feel they can approach their boss with a question. Supervisors who are open and approachable, not surprisingly, have better relationships with their employees, and more of those employees are more fully engaged.
"We seldom get to choose our supervisors, so wherever we are in the organization, we have to communicate effectively with our boss," said Kelly, a retired US Naval officer and economist who coaches executives. There are several techniques that can be used to improve communication.
Business keynote speaker Mary C. Kelly's tips for effective employee communication include:
1. Communicate in the Way That is Best for the Boss
Some people want to receive all their information via email, while others prefer texting. Some managers want to hear the tone of their employee's voice or have eye contact. Ask your boss how they want to receive information and tailor your communications to the way they work best.
2. Close the Loop
Whether it is closing the deal, finishing a project, or just following up, it is important for people to do what they say they'll do. The best way to do this is to create clear objectives and follow a point-by-point plan to make sure everything gets accomplished, as it should. It's also important not to promise anything that is dependent on what other employees or departments will do.
Once you complete something, make sure you let your supervisor know. A quick email or other communication that indicates that a job is completed takes that job off your manager's mind, for example: "I sent you the report before lunch. Please let me know if you need any additional information or if you'd like to discuss it."
3. Let the Boss Know When You are Unavailable
Even if an employee is out of the office for just a few hours, something as simple as sending a quick email can increase trust.
"I love seeing notes on doors letting others know where people are and when they will be back, as well as a cell phone number," Kelly said.
4. Keep the Boss Informed on Ongoing Projects
This is especially important when working on a long-term project that may take several months to complete. Especially if there are difficulties with the project, it is imperative to keep the manager informed.
The best employees also bring potential solutions when informing the boss of a problem.
5. Ask for Feedback
If your manager isn't giving you the feedback you need to know how you are doing, ask. According to Forbes, employees shouldn't think their work isn't valued because the boss hasn't given them any recent feedback. Most managers are overwhelmed with a heavy workload, and sometimes managers just assume that their employees understand their vision and how they are doing.
Millennials tend need more feedback than older employees. This can create a disconnect when the manager operates by the precept, "You are doing fine unless I tell you otherwise" and the worker wonders "Am I doing this project correctly?" so close the communications gap. In the research for Why Leaders Fail, Kelly discovered that employees at all levels want more positive feedback from their managers.
6. Get the Facts Straight
One of the primary rules of good communication involves relaying correct information. Occasionally, in an effort to keep the boss informed quickly, good employees will pass along less-than-complete information. When possible, double check information.
7. Be Authentic
Dishonest communication creates tension. Most people can tell when someone is trying to sugarcoat bad news, or is simply trying to tell someone what they want to hear.
"Finding the best ways to communicate with a boss is a process that isn't always easy, but it is worth the effort. Good communication at work decreases rework, reduces stress, and increases productivity. Following these steps can go a long way to improving communication with both managers and teams," she said.
About Mary C. Kelly
Mary C. Kelly specializes in business growth through executive leadership development. Her company, Productive Leaders, provides all levels of corporate training and coaching.
Kelly is an award-winning author of several best-selling books including "Why Leaders Fail," which uses current scenarios and examples collected through her leadership work with corporations and organizations.
She has been featured in the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, CNBC, Entrepreneur, Money Magazine, NBC, and USA Today.
Mary C. Kelly
SOURCE Productive Leaders