I get asked this question all the time!

Ensuring that you are communicating effectively with your staff and that everyone knows what’s expected of them is key to leading an effective, successful and happy team. Sounds easy, right? Well according to Harvard Business Review, it’s not that simple… They recently reported that 69% of managers feel uncomfortable communicating with their employees and a further 37% of managers are uncomfortable giving direct feedback about people’s performance for fear of a negative response.

These numbers are worrying given how important it is to set expectations and provide feedback to improve future performance and ensure delivery of results. If managers are not communicating effectively with their team, it can lead to employees being confused, unmotivated and disengaged. A study by Hart Research Associates, shows that businesses with good communication practices have a lower than average turnover rate, so it really makes a difference to business performance.

Here’s my advice on getting this right:

1.   Communicate your expectations clearly – you must know what you want from people and set them realistic tasks and deadlines. Don’t be afraid to ask your staff to confirm their understanding of what is expected: you want to be on the same page before the work begins!

2.   Give a purpose – people will be more motivated if they know “why” they are being asked to do something. Give them the broader context, showing how their work will benefit their colleagues/the organisation.

3.   Communicate your expectations consistently – having an ongoing process in place ensures your team knows what’s expected of them and keeps you aware of progress. Don’t forget that there’s a fine line between regularly checking-in (to make sure concerns can be addressed before they become a problem) and micromanaging…

4.   Invest in one-on-one time – this shows your team that you’re invested in them and what they’re doing and want to take the time out to discuss it.