Why Communication Is Key To Managing Modern Teams

Managers have to understand that silence too can be used efficiently in a conversation to build a safe space for employees to voice their concerns


The undeniable truth is that while workplaces are still run by people, technology is a glitch for managers when it comes to getting work done with minimal personal engagement. While we have modern messaging tools at our disposal to perform core management tasks such as getting status updates and answering simple questions, it has also cultivated bad managers that forget to perform equally important tasks of listening to and developing their employees. In this continuously evolving workplace, it turns out that a number of fundamentals in managing people are discontinued, especially by younger managers.

While communication with your team is key, some of the points modern managers need to keep in mind while managing teams include;

The art of conversation

Managers can seize the biggest opportunity available to make a difference in the lives of their employees, i.e. through the one-on-one meeting. This meeting helps set the day/week’s agenda and brings in more clarity in terms of what is expected from the employee. The art of these meetings/conversations is to be specific and respectful with your team members. For instance, you should ask questions such as “How do you feel about the campaign we’ve been planning? Is there anything we can do better? over “Have you checked if everything is done on the campaign?” The result of asking such questions is twofold- not only will your team feel that you are invested in their feedback and work, but will also lead to a far more constructive conversation.

Another crutch for managers is the inability to deal with silence in a conversation. They have to understand that silence too can be used efficiently in a conversation to build a safe space for employees to voice their concerns. It is a good practice to let your team members lead the one-on-one meetings as they are most likely to be more vocal about their concerns through the pauses they take.

Be the "Clarity Generator"

It is imperative for a manager to be the clarity-generator as team members are more likely to do their best work when given clear goals. When this is coupled with support, guidance, and resources there is nothing that can stop them in achieving desired outcomes. A manager is a strong source of clarity and goes on to create an interesting shift within a team. It empowers team members to take ownership of the work to be done.

Managing employee happiness is part of the job

Business schools will inevitably teach you the intricacies of the job but what they don’t reflect upon is how to manage employee happiness as it is also a key part of the job. By being invested in the professional development of team members, and pushing them to grow their careers in their desired direction is often the most important thing a manager can do to keep their team motivated. 

You set the tone for your team’s culture

One last factor to reflect upon about communication is that as a manager a lot of what you do yourself sets a cultural context for your team. If you expect them to be at your beck & call by texting them at 2 am on a Sunday morning it sets an expectation for them to be available too. This does not sound like an ideal or healthy cultural expectation to have. You can always make a wise decision by scheduling your mail for Monday morning. Your team and their sleep cycles will thank you for it!

Ultimately it all boils down to a simple rule- communicate unto others as you would have them communicate unto you. Always remember that while modern workplace tools have made work easier, real fulfillment for you as a manager will come with the trust of your team that you’ll be there through thick & thin.

Disclaimer: The views expressed in the article above are those of the authors' and do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of this publishing house

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