Effective communication is one of the most important aspects of running a successful business. It plays a crucial role in creating a positive work environment and driving productivity. However, communication is not just about conveying messages, but also about building trust and strengthening relationships between employees and their leaders.
When it comes to building trust with your employees, communication is key. Trust is essential to fostering a positive work environment where employees feel comfortable sharing their thoughts, concerns, and ideas. Effective communication can help to build trust by showing employees that their opinions and contributions are valued and that they have a voice in the decision-making process.
One of the most important benefits of building trust with your employees is that it can lead to happier employees. When employees feel that they can trust their leaders and colleagues, they are more likely to feel satisfied and engaged in their work. This, in turn, can lead to increased productivity and better overall performance.
However, building trust is not always easy. Sometimes, as leaders, we can get caught up in our own perspectives and fail to see things from our employees’ point of view. It is important to take a step back and actively listen to what your employees are saying. This means giving them a platform to voice their concerns and ideas, and actively working to address those concerns and implement those ideas.
My Story (an example of what not to do)
In 2017 I built a successful personal training program at an area fitness center. I was a victim of my own success. I sold so many agreements so quickly that I didn’t have the employees to effectively handle the demand. This led me to hire employees quickly and guarantee them a slate of clients. In retrospect – there was a lot wrong with this approach; they were getting a ton of work with no clear communication from me. I was good at sales, and bad at just about everything else. I was not an effective communicator, wasn’t overly organized, and I was set in my ways.
A good friend heard that we needed some help, and she introduced me to her friend. Her friend was super motivated, passionate about fitness, and had multiple accreditations and experience. She had some reservations about my proposed training philosophy and routines for clients, but was overly eager to settle in and get to work. The training industry is a hard field to get into, and it rarely comes with clients. In hindsight, I was overbearing, pompous, and too rigid in my thinking.
A week after she started she came in, after a long full day of training, and indicated she had accepted another job offer. I was gob smacked. The clients I had introduced her to and worked with her loved her. She didn’t seem to be unhappy. The irrational part of my brain tried to dismiss her actions and conjure up reasons for her behavior. I later found out that she quit because of me and my terrible communication style. The lesson of this story is that communication is perhaps the most important aspect of employer-employee relations.
Another important aspect of effective communication is clarity. Clarity in communication means ensuring that employees understand what is expected of them, what their goals are, and what they need to do to achieve those goals. By providing clear guidance and feedback, employees are better equipped to succeed in their roles. After my star pupil quit because I was a pompous jerk, I hired a business coach who drilled this idea home for me. We had no goals, no desires, and no weekly meetings. We implemented a system where we would meet weekly to discuss team and individual goals. This provided more guidance and clarity on expectations. Team members were held to the goals that they set for themselves, and the organization was held to weekly metrics. By meeting weekly, we reduced the ability for communication channels to break down.
In conclusion, effective communication is a key component of building trust and creating a positive work environment. By actively listening to employees, taking their concerns and ideas seriously, and providing clear guidance and feedback, leaders can foster a culture of trust and collaboration that leads to happier, more engaged employees and improved business performance.
Author: Logan Cockerham