3 Employee Communication Fails That Made Rockstars Pack Their Bags

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“Communication is key.” This well-worn statement remains ever true in today’s relationships, especially in the workplace. Unfortunately, even in our world of constant and instant communication, the key to effective employee communication is often misplaced.

When you lose sight of the importance of communication, it results in losing quality employees. This could be due to misunderstandings, feeling underappreciated, or the overwhelming frustrations of not fully being in the loop. 

To keep your team satisfied and engaged, don’t make these three employee communication errors that made rockstar employees begin packing their bags:

The missing job responsibility explanation

“When I joined my previous company, I was on the verge of quitting my job after just a few weeks because of serious miscommunication from the manager. There was never a clear explanation of what my job responsibilities would be. This often led to me feeling I was overworking. 

One day I gathered enough courage and discussed this issue with my manager. Surprisingly, he took it very positively. He didn’t realize that nobody explained these details to me earlier in my employment, so he didn’t know it was a problem. This incident encouraged him to come up with an open door policy to decrease the communication gap among employees.”

William Taylor, Career Development Manager at MintResume 

The out-of-sight-out-of-mind tactic

“Out of sight, out of mind was the culture of the company I worked for when I decided to quit the job that I loved. About 10 years ago I decided to relocate to my childhood hometown to be near my aging parents. I was a sales manager and member of the executive team, which meant lots of meetings and business reviews with the company brass. 

While 10 years seems like a long time ago, we did have smartphones, VPNs, and video conferencing tools to facilitate remote communication. Even so, I knew the management team managed by the old saying, ‘Out of sight, out of mind.’ 

If you didn’t work at the corporate level, or if you weren’t in an important meeting, the management team acted like you didn’t exist. You didn’t get assigned key projects, you weren’t kept in the loop on critical business decisions, and executives felt like they could start directing my team members. Because I felt that I was in a no-win situation, I quit my job and moved home.”

Antoinette Forth, Co-Founder and COO Walkabout Workplace

The remote culture mishap

“While we had all of the technology to support remote workers, our company did not have the culture to support and engage them. Being able to successfully manage people remotely goes well beyond the technology stack. 

In a remote working culture, especially, all employees must  have respect and access to their teammates, regardless of their physical location. In hindsight, I could have worked with the executive team to create a remote working culture. Here are some of the things I’ve learned since then that work great to support remote team communication: 

  • Daily or weekly check-ins with managers and peers
  • Strict communication protocols for conference calls so all participants can hear (no more sitting on a two-hour conference call without knowing what happened in the meeting)
  • Use video conferencing on a regular basis to see managers and co-workers face-to-face
  • When practical, have in-person meetings annually or more often to promote esprit de corps
  • Extend corporate events (i.e., ice cream socials and happy hours) to remote workers through video conferencing”

Antoinette Forth, Co-Founder and COO Walkabout Workplace

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Val Matta
Val Matta
Val Matta, Managing Director of CareerShift, co-founded the company in 2005 to help individuals bridge the gap between education and employment.  As a recognized expert in the field, Val is a frequent speaker on career management, networking, and job hunting strategies.  You can connect with her and the CareerShift team on FacebookLinkedIn, and Twitter.