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Posts Tagged ‘stress management’

Guaranteed ways to get and keep your employees communicating…at work!

Employee communication is critical to getting maximum contribution from your employees. Poor interpersonal and communication skills are consistently ranked in the top five reasons managers fail. Poor communication skills can manifest themselves in many ways, including:

  • Feuds
  • Avoiding communication with co-workers
  • Hostile attitudes

These are all dangerous, but avoiding communication with co-workers has some of the biggest implications. The best way to make sure you do not fall into this black hole is by creating a culture of open dialogue at your workplace. Employee communication automatically improves when employees sense that communicating new ideas is encouraged by management. Here are easy ways to make sure you are creating a culture of open dialogue in your organization:

1) Create ground rules: Before ideas and opinions start flying, create and enforce ground rules to make sure everyone keeps it friendly. This includes rules about curse words and discriminatory comments.  Make sure you emphasize that all comments need to be professional and relevant  to the issue at hand. Guidelines prevent employees from getting off task, when
they are more likely to make inappropriate comments.

Why this matters: Nothing derails employee communication faster than discriminatory and rude remarks. If an employee is on the receiving end of these remarks, he or she may shut down and refuse to provide valuable opinions, insight and direction. The goal is to make sure everyone feels respected and feels like their opinions matter.

2) Don’t just say there is an open-door policy, create it: It is vital that you walk the walk when it comes to promoting employee communication in the workplace.  Begin by setting the example. Make sure you are continually asking for your
employees’ opinions on major decisions. It is also important to leave time to regularly meet with your employees.

Why this matters: You can tell your employees that there is an open-door policy, but unless they see it, they will not feel comfortable speaking up. If employees consistently try to meet with you to no avail, they will eventually assume that employee communication is not important to you and stop trying. But if you lead the way, by creating multiple opportunities for employees to speak up, they will.

3) Regularly update employees: Keep your employees in the loop on upcoming decisions, events, mergers or any other changes you anticipate will be important. If your employees have complete information, they will be able to
make more informed recommendations.

Why this matters: Open dialogue in the workplace will only be helpful in an environment where employees are informed. If they are not, they will fire off suggestions that are not in line with where the organization is headed strategically.

4) Help your employees develop effective presentation skills: There will come a time for most of your employees when they will have to present ideas in formal meetings. Do not let poor presentation skills be the hurdle to having your employee’s idea considered by executives. Utilize training programs if necessary.

Why this matters: Open communication in the workplace is not just about throwing all of your thoughts out there. It is about being able to present your ideas in a way that others will understand. Effective presentation skills will help you do this. People are more likely to respond favorably to an idea communicated in an effective, professional way.

Contributed by Profiles International

Express to De-stress!

Sunset over Iguazu
Find yourself forgetful, confused or making “mountains out of molehills”?  Possibly the enthusiasm you felt earlier this month is dwindling and you might say you are “unenthused” or even depressed.  Be aware!  You may be experiencing signs of emotional distress.

These symptoms can affect us intellectually (hmmm…lack of concentration?), socially (or…withdrawing from people or events?) and even physically (maybe….clumsiness and excessive eating, drinking and smoking?).

Before these behaviors claim a foothold, develop a few strategies for your own “stress shot”.

  1. Talk to a friend or a support person-chances are you are not alone
  2. Take action and say NO to excessive demands
  3. Prioritize and slow down…breathe!
  4. Leave work at a reasonable time, take breaks and exercise!
  5. Listen before jumping to conclusions or taking things personally
  6. Avoid labeling yourself with harsh names you’d never call anybody else
  7. Mentally shout STOP when your focus starts to drift
  8. Remove the word SHOULD from your mental vocabulary
  9. Ask, will it really matter a year from now?

Focusing on what you can do today to make it a productive day, will bring satisfaction, enjoyment and relief of stress.  Take one strategy that appears to be a challenge and practice it for a whole day.  See what it does for you.  Practice it again tomorrow.  In a short period of time, you will be amazed at the results your stress reduction plan will produce!

Source: “The Leader’s Guide to Workplace Stress” by Profiles International Inc. Email for a copy of this white paper.

"Pat brings her charm, wit and insight into her advisory relationships and shares the same with her audiences. She's got the systems to back up her concepts."

- Frank Maguire FEDEX Senior Founding Executive

John Maxwell


Profiles Int'l