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Created April 6, 2012

Communication Tips in Your Role as a Manager or Supervisor

Creating a well-functioning and welcoming work environment for Veteran employees can lead to creating a similar environment for all employees. Effective communication is one variable that could lead to improved performance and morale. Following is a list of communication tips that managers or supervisors may find helpful.

General Communication

  • Be straightforward and direct in all communications, including written and spoken.
  • Listen when you are not speaking. Paraphrase and reflect back what someone has said to make sure you understood correctly.
  • Keep your voice volume at a moderate level.
  • Avoid using an angry, threatening, or demeaning tone of voice.

Assigning Tasks

  • Be clear about your expectations. Specify what you expect an employee to do or accomplish with a task.
  • Consider giving written instructions or expected outcomes of a task.
  • If you are unsure about your clarity, ask the employee to summarize what you have said and are requesting of them. Confirm or correct the employee's response.
  • Clearly designate responsibility for tasks and projects, especially when assigning a task or project to a team of employees.
  • When assigning work to a team, make sure there is an identified leader or point person.
  • Make sure deadlines are clear and manageable.

Communicating Limits & Standards

  • Set clear limits and observe them. Be consistent and do not change your limits or standards arbitrarily.
  • Be clear about standards for promotion and what types of activities will help an employee work toward that goal.
  • Give praise and recognition for work well done.
  • Be clear about the consequences of not completing work, missing work, showing up unfit for work, arguing with customers, acting out aggressively, or being uncooperative with team members.
  • When correcting an employee, describe what can be observed, not what you suspect. Keep it simple.