Communication is a key to effective employee performance!

Ineffective communication in organizations may lead to lost opportunities, missed deadlines, significant drop in productivity levels, friction between employees, and non-achievement of organization goals.  Many organizations realize the importance of effective communication and so take efforts to train their employees to communicate effectively.

An effective communication is one where the person communicating and the person listening have the same understanding of the matter that is communicated. Employees in organization use both oral and written forms of communication as appropriate.  So, effective communication is important in these methods.

Effective communication is one of the key factors for good employee performance management. I have mentioned below when and why communication becomes vital for good employee performance:

1)      Communication of goals:

Organizations exist for a purpose and have their targets or goals.  They then share these goals to employees, who work towards achieving the same.  So it becomes extremely important that goals are communicated very clearly to the employees, so that they can work towards achieving the same. If goals are not clearly communicated, then obviously there are going to be performance issues.

Employees who are not aware of what their goals are, will work based on some assumptions which might totally turn out to be not in sync with the organization goals.   The problem exist because sometimes no clear distinction is made between job description of employees and performance goals and so managers fail to communicate the expectations clearly.

Setting SMART goals for employees and communicating them is vital for good employee performance.

2)      Communication of feedback on performance:

It is important for managers to provide feedback to employees on their performance on a continuous basis.  This would help employees to know where they are successful as well as where they are lagging behind.  Continuous guidance and coaching would not only enable employees to perform well, but also would help in the overall employee skill development.

Effective communication of feedback to employees is important to achieve goals, employee skill development and improve employee performance.

3)      Communication during appraisal meetings: An appraisal meeting is where a manager and employee meet together to discuss employee performance.  Effective communication is very vital for a successful meeting.  Managers would have to know how to appreciate the employee for good performance, and also know how to convey negative feedback or improvement areas.  Managers should also be willing to patiently listen to employee’s point of view and agree to points that are relevant.

Effective communication during appraisal meetings leads to higher employee satisfaction levels.

4)      Communication within teams:  For effective performance in a team setting, there needs to be a transparent and effective communication within the team members.

5)      Communication by employees: Just like managers communicate goals and feedback, employees would also have to be effective communicators to improve their performance.  When there are doubts on their performance expectations, they shouldn’t hesitate to approach their managers for clarifications. Similarly, when they are stuck with any problem, they should effectively communicate the problem to the manager and obtain his or her guidance. They should be willing to communicate any improvement areas in the organization policies if any.  It is important for the employer to facilitate an environment for employees to communicate without any inhibitions.

I think if organizations start to facilitate effective communication by employees, they can see a marked improvement on the performance.

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