In asking more than 500 professionals to describe the attributes of the “Best Boss” they’ve ever had, employees of a global Fortune 500 organization cited “effective communication.” In digging further, we learned that this is not about being the best speaker, writer or PowerPoint guru, rather, it’s about the qualities listed below.
Worth noting is that the attributes mentioned for the worst boss they ever had were almost the complete opposite. Take a look…
Lays out guidelines (clear direction)
Translates complex statements and goals to something relative
Responsive — provides feedback
Caring, Humble, Honest, Trustworthy
Keep others informed in a timely fashion
Doesn’t make employees feel badly about mistakes
Awards good work
Visionary; Paints “big picture”
Communication unclear; hoards information
Never acknowledges strengths or weaknesses
Makes expectations known very late in the game
Manages up better than down
Harsh/angry reaction to failures
No praise when things go well
Not open to new ideas that might cause conflicts
What’s standing in managers’ way of being a better communicator? The resounding answer was “time.” Does that mirror your thoughts? If so, think about this:
- Effective communication skills are part of being a leader.
It’s not (just) the responsibility of your organization’s communication function.
- Effective communication is less about “quantity” and more about “quality.”
How long does it take to say, “Good morning,” “how are you,” “good job,” “any questions,” etc.
- If “time” prevents you from being a better communicator, think about the time you save by giving clear direction up front.
Imagine your employees’ getting it right the first time, as opposed to spending time on rework because they weren’t clear on the assignment!
Now think about this: Effective communication skills in managers and leaders have been proven to boost an organization’s employee retention, customer satisfaction, and financial performance. If those aren’t strong enough reasons to make your communication responsibilities a priority, consider how you’d like your employees to think about you —
Are you the best or worst boss they’ve ever had?
Karen is an Account Lead at Blue Beyond with expertise in internal communications, employee engagement, change management, building thriving cultures, and “inside-out” marketing – brand-building through employees first.