Effective Communication: Helping Employees Thrive
A wise man once said “You can tie almost every employee issue – attendance, morale, performance, and productivity – to communication”. At HomeCare Australia, we are committed to keeping our employees and caregivers engaged, so that they not only do their
jobs well, but thrive and excel at them. Building a culture of effective communication is an important way of doing this. However, effective communication does not just happen.
Trust as the foundation If we are to communicate effectively as a work family, we must have an environment of trust in one another. Research shows that employees that trust the management or supervisor communicate better and perform better. And so, as management, not only will we continue to build a culture that encourages openness, we will continue to strive for an environment in which every employee knows that their input, complaints, and feedbacks will not be ignored. At the same time, employees are encouraged to take the time to listen to one another, as this makes everyone feel valued, and fosters trust.
Create and Keep Channels of Communication Open
We work in a very sensitive sector. With the nature of care giving, employees may find themselves in situations where they need to get answers to things they’re not clear about. Having an open channel where they can reach managers and supervisors will make their job easier and it is important that we all keep this in mind and create open channels of communication. This also applies to situations where caregivers need to give feedback about clients, challenges on the job, and suggestions to improve the services rendered.
Set and Communicate Clear Expectations As caregiver, part of our job is to be flexible and adaptable to situations when working with clients. It helps if everyone is well-equipped for the job. Effective communication requires that each manager should give clear and adequate information regarding the client’s history, present needs and other information that will help make caring for them easier. But this does not apply only to those directly involved in care giving on a day to day basis. It applies to us all.
Observe and Listen People react and express emotions in different ways. Being observant and paying attention at all times can serve up cues you can use to understand colleagues and clients. Often times, communication is nonverbal, especially when the client has significant physical and or mental challenges. It is extra credit to you, when you can learn to read the non-verbal cues that your client is giving and to get insights into their needs without necessarily prodding. And in dealing with colleagues too, we should learn to read body language and communicate appropriately.
Be Sensitive While it is tempting to just “let it all out”, especially after a difficult day, it is important to bear in mind that what you say can have a lasting impact on another person. By all means, feel free to communicate honestly with others. But be sensitive in how you do it. When giving personal feedbacks, meet one‑on‑one to preserve the privacy of the person in question. This is especially important if there is a negative feedback to give. It is important to make sure every member of a group feel treasured and appreciated for their inputs and comments. Meetings should also be short and concise.
When done properly and deliberately, effective communication enhances our relationship with one another, and ultimately fast tracks our growth as a company.