Staff Communications: 10 Questions You Must Always Ask Employees


Effective staff communications are based on the quality of the questions you ask: not the answers you get. You'll only get useful answers when you ask good questions. Here are some questions that you should always ask and continue to ask.

1. What do you think we should do?

When an employee seeks your advice or counsel, seek their opinion. They may well know what to do and simply be seeking reinforcement. They may have information that you need. You want them to simply avoid "dumping" their problems in your lap. They may have a brilliant idea that you desperately need but won't discover unless you ask. Asking also reinforces your faith in their judgement.

2. What makes you say that?

Business VoIP Phone Systems

Communication is important - it's actually vital to the operation of any good business, which is why various improvements have been made in this regard for a long time now. If you want to ensure that your company is working at the top of its potential, you'll need to invest in a quality communicational infrastructure - and nowadays there are various ways to do that. Phones are great and all, but they have much better counterparts nowadays that can work a lot more efficiently if you're looking for something that won't set you back much.

Voice over IP - or VoIP for short - systems are based on Internet connections instead of standard phone lines. This allows them to operate much faster, and, as a result, they can provide a much better quality of the sound in your calls. What's more, it's a lot easier to place conference calls and otherwise talk with several participants at once when you're using a VoIP system, as it makes it very easy to handle a large load of information which would slow down a regular phone network.

Business Telephone Solutions for Financial Institutions

As the manager of a bank or other financial institution, you relay on strong communication and computers to keep information secure and transactions and other operations simple. Even a small-town bank relies upon technology to protect assets and customers, and if you wait too long to consider upgrades to your business equipment you may find future growth a challenge. The installation of advanced systems for your phone system, Internet, and relevant equipment can help your business grow and allow customers to improve communication with you.

The components of an optimal business suite for your financial institution should not sound foreign to you. Connecting with a reputable firm specializing in installation and repair of business telephony can help pave the way for improved productivity. Some things that may come recommended to you include:

Translation and Teamwork

Translation was always one of the things I enjoyed doing. I started working as a freelance translator about 4 years ago. During this period, I was able to learn a few things, team work was definitely one of them. Yet, that was not an easy task. First, I had to look for somebody to work with, but when I I finally did and as we started working together, it was a pain trying to meet the deadlines. You would think that the opposite would be true. I agree, but not when dealing with somebody who does not perform their work properly or in a timely manner.

Anyway, it took me a lot of time and a lot of patience to find the right people, committed people. This has finally made my life easier. Not having to deal with redoing other people work was a big relief for me. It is important however to have in mind the important steps that made the team work be successful.

1. Being in touch at all times.
You have to feel like you working in the same office. Don't use email only when dealing with other team members. Exchange your home phone numbers, cell phone numbers, Skype, anything else that can make it easy for the team to constantly be in touch.

The Elephant In the Room/Seven Strategies For Effective Communication At Work

We live in an era marked by rapid economic, technological and social change. Pressure to perform in this very competitive environment routinely takes its tolls on workers and professionals. Stress is a given. In addition to this stress there can be an Elephant In The Room which when not dealt with only magnifies stress and can hamper the effectiveness of an organization. The Elephant In The Room is often the inability to communicate clearly with empathy and respect to a co-worker, partner, associate, secretary, etc. The inability to communicate effectively is causing too many problems for too many businesses and organizations.

Many smart professionals are too busy with tasks, deadlines, the job at hand to deal with the issue of fostering effective communication because as an uncomfortable issue it can be set aside to the priority of a report, meeting, surgery, court appearance, deadline,etc. 

Conflict at Work Causes Expensive Disruption

Conflict at home can cause upset and misery.  Conflict at work can cause expensive disruption and these hidden costs are underestimated in many organisations.

If two people are not working well together, then this will almost certainly have a 'knock-on' effect upon the whole department and, in turn, the entire company.  Sometimes conflict is just ignored 'we will just let them get over it'... 'what has it got to do with us, time will sort it out'.  Well, time may just NOT just sort it out and situations can easily escalate.  What starts out as an aggravation and annoyance can turn into a full blown grievance all too quickly and start to cost the organisation dear, in terms of time and money.

The aggrieved individual concerned may feel:

Motivating Today's Younger Workforce

Part 1 - The Issue

People will only change their behaviours and beliefs if there exists a powerful motivator to do so, especially young people. Having trained and coached hundreds of young Post-Grads entering into the corporate world of IT Project Management, I've found that providing them that motivational element that will inspire and drive them in their training can often be the trickiest part.

That got me thinking about motivating trainees and younger staff generally, particularly in the corporate business environment, and especially in these financially trying times.

Extrinsic motivators such as employee-of-the-month, staff away-days, even bonuses, are all typical workplace motivators which, whilst seemingly effective at the time, are often short-lived, and do not result in overall longer-term changes in behaviour or performance.

3 Workplace Communication Mistakes Every Woman in Science, Engineering and Technology Should Avoid

One thing I realized very early on in my career in research was that good, no make that excellent, communication skills were a necessity for a woman if she wanted to be taken seriously and get ahead. Back then scientific research was very definitely an 'old boys' playground and it was difficult to get your ideas heard or be taken seriously. In fact during my interview for my first full time job on returning to Canada my future boss said that, in his opinion, all women should stay at home and tied, barefoot and pregnant, to the kitchen sink. Needless to say that did not sit well with me and to this day I remain somewhat surprised I got the job after the response I fired back at him (fortunately there were two others on the interview committee).

So I went in to that job with the knowledge that there were still some somewhat antiquated ideas floating around the workplace. Luckily I had taken a communications course in university that had started me on a lifelong exploration of how people communicate and interact with each other, which has proven to be enormously useful throughout my career, not just in my first job. 

Workplace Communication: Avoid Communication Blunders in a Multicultural Workplace

The multi-cultural workplace is here to stay. For many workplaces, miscommunication because of cultural differences is quite common and, as you can imagine, leads to hurt feelings and uncomfortable employee relationships. That's why workplace leaders need to train employees to use effective communication in a multicultural workplace.

Obviously, better workplace communication can provide for more employee job satisfaction in general, but it's even more important when there's a mix of cultures.

Avoid Making Cultural Communication Blunders

In order to avoid making a cultural communication blunder it is very important for your staff to understand the customs of the different cultures represented in your workplace.

Employee Engagement: Begin With the Basics to Boost Job Productivity

Employee engagement is an imperative part of gaining a productive team of individuals and achieving further organizational success. Numerous approaches are available for encouraging a staff to strive harder toward accomplishing organizational goals. The Herrmann Brain Dominance Instrument or HBDI is a system companies are using to measure the preferences of their personnel. It was created by William "Ned" Herrmann at a time when he was performing management education at one of General Electric's facilities. This system is now used to identify, measure, and define how people reason in regards to brain dominance. The HBDI or Brain Dominance Model involves the identification of four specific intellectual modes:


Executive Consulting: An Available Organizational Tool for Increasing Worker Efficiency

The challenges brought on by hard economic times are easily felt throughout an organization. Staff members show decreased motivation as companies make difficult decisions to lay off employees, cut benefits, and alter management levels. How can a business keep personnel engaged to meet organization goals with these occurrences taking place? A large portion of morale, job satisfaction, and engagement comes directly from each individual's existing relationship with higher level executives. Executive consulting focuses on developing connections based on trust and encouragement. Organizations dealing with this problem have three basic questions to answer:

    What must be done to keep individuals or teams focused on reaching business strategies?
    How can personnel be assisted with adapting to stressful changes?
    What approaches will encourage individuals to work toward maximizing the bottom line?

The HBDI Assessment Evaluation Model Is Important to an Organization

Employee morale and job satisfaction are two areas companies sometimes have difficulty managing. These areas, while important, get lost in the shuffle of everyday responsibilities geared toward future organizational achievement. A few rewards can significantly improve these aspects of a work environment over a short interval of time, but the struggle surfaces as a continuous circle of vicissitudes prevail. How an employee thinks plays a big role as to whether or not they enjoy their job. Lack of satisfaction decreases morale, which in turn reduces staff productivity. An understanding of what drives a person to do more is an effective approach to breaking the cycle.

The Herrmann Brain Dominance Instrument (HBDI) is a tool that was developed toward the end of the 1970's. 

Employee Engagement: Why Is Professional Advice a Good Option?

Employee engagement is a concept discussed frequently in regards to management practices. An individual is considered to be engaged when they are completely involved with and passionate about their responsibilities. Employees with this attitude go the extra mile to work toward organizational objectives in an effort to enhance both individual and business attainment. This attitude is a direct reflection of each individual's dedication to the future of the business supplying them with an employment opportunity. An engaged workforce leads to increased retention and boosted productivity within a company. These specific items determine the extent of involvement seen among business personnel: emotional attachment, participation, and commitment.

Staff members who are emotionally attached to their job have a greater level of engagement. This attachment comes from an individual seeing their responsibilities as having a direct impact on company outcomes or product quality. 

Personal Impact: What Is the Secret?

Some people seem to just have it. The mystery ingredient that gets them results, even when their technical skills or subject matter expertise are no more than average. This enables them to keep a team on side through tough times, and get a job done.

There's nothing more frustrating than feeling you should be making better progress and not being able to see what's holding you back. You may come up with all sorts of possible explanations: The boss does not give me a chance. My team are un-supportive. Colleagues don't involve me fully. But are these causes - or merely symptoms?

You should consider the way you interact with others and see if there is any way in which you can improve how you are interacting with your colleagues and superiors. Maybe you can improve the way in which you are seen within your workplace by adopting a more positive attitude towards the work itself. Rather than moaning about things that are getting you annoyed at work you should come up with suggestions to improve things.

Investment in Internal Communication

Research has revealed that over the past decade, there has been a considerable increase in investments on internal communication. Companies have always wanted more and more of it. With a great concern, it has been realized that these companies have not yet met their expectations on what they invested.

It has also been realized that there is still a lot to be covered for internal communication abbreviated IC but all is not lost since the future looks bright. There are plenty of areas to be covered like for example, the concept, raising standards, building understanding and appreciation in the board room and getting the right talent.

This article seeks to center on obstacles that lead to digression to progress. These are factors that have led to companies still spending much and achieving less. If properly taken care of, there would be an improvement in