6 Essential Leadership Communication Skills
Great leaders are those who possess excellent communication skills. A leader’s communication style can make or break employees’ motivation and engagement in the workplace.
This is why many organizations are investing more than ever in leadership development. With the rise of COVID-19 and the decline of visual communication, leadership communication has become mission-critical for employers who want to improve the experience of their employees and make sure their business stays up and running.
This blog will cover some essential communication skills every leader should have.
The Importance of Strong Leadership Communication Skills
According to a report from the Economist Intelligence Unit, poor communication can negatively impact a business’s bottom line. More precisely, 44% of respondents in the research indicated that miscommunication had caused a delay or failure to complete projects, and 18% said miscommunication had led to the loss of a sale, nearly a third (30%) of which were valued between US$100,000 and US$999,999.
According to the same research, communication breakdowns also cause employees stress (52%) and low morale (31%).
Another study found that inadequate communication in the workplace can cost large companies an average of $64.2 million per year, while smaller organizations risk losing $420,000 annually. For leaders, proper communication in the workplace enables them to align their people around a shared vision, retain employees, build trust, increase employee engagement, and successfully navigate through crises and organizational change.
6 Must-Have Leadership Communication Skills
There are specific characteristics that make some leaders more successful than others. In essence, the most successful leaders are the ones who know how to inspire their people, get the most out of them, and lead them to success.
Since good communication is key to being a good leader, let’s look at some leadership communication skills that every leader should work on.
Show empathy and encourage feedback to build
Leadership communication is essential for building trust in the workplace. Great leaders can put themselves in their employees’ shoes and show empathy during difficult times.
However, Deloitte’s Global Millennial Survey states that half the population needs to trust their business leaders.
To build trust, it is essential that leaders continuously encourage bottom-up employee feedback. Employees should always feel free to speak up and raise their questions and concerns. When this happens, the employee experience improves significantly.
With the emergence of remote work and a distributed workforce, it became harder for leaders to collect frequent employee feedback. This is why many organizations now use modern employee apps like Smarp to send relevant and timely surveys to collect valuable feedback from every employee, regardless of location and job function.
Active listening is one of the most critical leadership communication skills. Leaders can learn more about their employees’ opinions, ideas, fears, and concerns by listening to them. Stay in the moment and avoid interruptions. Keep your focus on the employees, and listen to what they have to say.
When employees raise their concerns, it is also essential to act on them. Yet, many leaders don’t listen to what their employees say, which makes employees much less motivated.
Employee recognition is one of the most powerful ways to motivate, engage, and get the best out of employees at work. Unfortunately, many leaders still need to pay more attention to building a culture of appreciation in their organizations.
One of the most important things a leader can do is notice and praise someone’s effort, initiative, and dedication to work. To make the impact even more significant, consider giving public praise by sharing employees’ successes with the rest of the organization. This is a great way to encourage others to embed the new behaviors necessary to achieve better business results.
Be transparent and communicate clearly.
Being able to communicate transparently is a critical leadership communication skill.
Still, many employers still find it hard to ensure communication at work is frequent, open, and clear. These difficulties are exacerbated today when limited to visible digital communication channels.
Because 85% of employees indicate that they are motivated when leadership regularly updates company news, frequent workplace communication is necessary! Furthermore, 81% of employees say they would rather work for a company encouraging open communication than one with good perks like health plans, free food, and gym memberships.
Communication between employees is key to creating a healthier workplace culture and a happier staff.
Clear communication is essential because it guides employees around common-toward and objectives. Leaders are in charge of ensuring this organizational alignment happens by allowing two-way communication at work and providing their words are clear and precise.
Lead by example and stay consistent.
Leaders should act as role models. By setting an example, leaders can show their people that they’re capable of doing what they expect them to do. This approach helps get the best out of your employees without explicitly reminding them to do something.
Simply ask yourself: “If I won’t follow my own rules and messages, why should my employees follow them?”
This is especially important now, when so many organizations have changed in ways that have never happened before. If you want your people to accept the change and eliminate their resistance to it, you must become the person they look up to.
Adapt to digital communication trends.
Remote work has changed how we communicate with our colleagues, and digital communication channels have become the only means of communication in the workplace for many organizations.
Leaders need to adapt to these new trends and use the power of the latest employee communication apps like Smarp and visual communication platforms to lessen the negative effects of remote and hybrid work. At the same time, the communication ecosystem at work is getting very complicated, and employers are always adding new tools, which can be frustrating for workers.
Advanced employee communication apps are designed to improve communication by integrating multiple workplace solutions into a single platform.
Get Your Employees’ Attention with Visual Communication
Visual communication is a new trend that has the potential to improve employee communication and workplace experience significantly. Visual content gets 94% more attention, so adding visuals to workplace communications is a great way to get the attention of employees.
Leaders have also started using these new communication trends to make their messages more interesting, fun, and easy to understand.
Shuffll is a virtual studio for video production that uses AI to generate copy, art, and storylines.
It takes marketers from zero-to-video and allows them to reduce the workload by creating videos with others.
Making it the ultimate co-pilot for marketers who want to scale their video creation efforts.