What is the top complaint your employees have about their leaders? Maybe you asked them and know the answer to this question. If not, it is likely that it relates to a lack of communication. According to a recent Interact/Harris Poll, 91% of employees say communication issues can drag executives down. Many of the top complaints include:

  • Not recognizing employee achievements
  • Not giving clear directions
  • Not having time to meet with employees
  • Refusing to talk to subordinates
  • Taking credit for others’ ideas
  • Not offering constructive criticism
  • Not knowing employee names
  • Refusing to talk to people in person/on the phone
  • Not asking about employees’ lives outside of work

Is your leadership team guilty of any of the above? Any one of them demonstrates to employees that they are important or valued by the organization. Leaders who behave in this way are not engaging with employees or gaining their trust. To turn this around, effective communication must be a priority for the leadership team.

Here are some things leaders can say to rebuild the connections with their employees:

I appreciate your contribution– Employees want to know that what there are working on daily is an important piece of a much bigger puzzle and they want to feel appreciated for their piece.

Thank you– It seems so simple, but everyone likes hearing the words, “thank you.” This should be done both privately and amongst peers, as both bring unique benefits.

What do you think?– Asking for an employee’s opinion is a great way to show them they are valued within the organization.

Here is what is happening and what you can expect- Businesses are constantly changing and fear of the unknown can make employees uneasy. Be as transparent as possible when changes arise.

I have some feedback from you- Employees, especially younger generations, want feedback. The idea that “no news is good news” no longer applies.

Let me tell you something I learned the hard way- Leaders become approachable and much more trustworthy when they show employees that they have made mistakes and learned from them.

Hello “insert employee name here”– Leaders should know their employees by name. If you have a large company, develop a system of learning names and committing them to memory, starting with those you interact with most often.

These are great reminders for all leaders, even those who have great relationships with employees. Work with your leadership team to focus on two or three of these over the next month see if you feel a shift in employee trust.