Take a moment to think of a supervisor, manager, or any other person you have interacted with that was in a leadership position who inspired or motivated you. What was their tone? What did they say? How did they make you feel? It is not easy to manage a group of people much less motivate them to be productive or innovative. Excellent leaders are not only strategic and creative thinkers with exemplary organizational skills. They have to be skilled communicators that engage and inspire their staff to use their own creativity and innovation to drive results. How vital is managerial communication to today’s worker? Check out the below statistics put together by Officevibe:
- Engagement drops two percent on teams with managers who ignore their employees.
- 45 percent of organizations don’t have an employee engagement strategy.
- Managers account for at least 70 percent of the variance in employee engagement scores.
- Their study revealed that the main factor in workplace unhappiness is the boss.
Much of this goes back to communication. Employees feel more engaged, motivated, and productive when supervisors and leaders of any kind respectfully and effectively communicate with them. Read on for five top communication traits that every effective and influential leader should possess that you can use in your dealership.
Discussing the Purpose Behind the Task
Leaders who are adept at communication don’t just read off a list of tasks to employees, they instead always try to give a sense for why these actions are essential to the overall purpose of the company. They are skilled in bringing every single project or duty back to the overall mission and vision of who the company is. Every service appointment, social media posting, or customer service interaction should come back to the overall principles of the purpose of the dealership. Good leaders remind staff of this as much as possible.
Acting with Empathy
It is hard to connect with managers or supervisors who do not reveal themselves to be empathetic or compassionate. Great leaders are not only concerned with the work of an employee, but they understand that factors outside of the walls of a dealership can positively or negatively affect a staff member’s work day. Making time to greet every employee, and engaging in small talk about what someone did over the weekend can go a long way to build trust and show that a manager cares about the whole person instead of just their work contributions. A study published in the Harvard Business Review revealed that regular person-to-person contact between leaders and employees increases employee engagement and overall performance.
Clearly Define Expectations
According to Gallup, only 50 percent of today’s employees know what is actually expected of them at work. This statistic means that today’s managers are dropping the ball when it comes to telling workers what they want them to do, and how they want them to do it. Employees should walk away from leaders with a keen understanding of what is expected of them. Great leaders take time to not only assign duties but also to ask if employees have any questions about their work and performance expectations. If customer reviews are not looking up to par, and other indicators (like sales) are taking a hit, it is time to sit down with the team and redefine expectations.
Can Sell a Vision
Whether it be altering a strategic plan or introducing a new pivotal role, there are going to be times where leaders have to sell their dealership team on new initiatives or changes. They are going to have to tell them why they should trust their decision to pursue this vision, and understand how they are involved in this new transition. Great leaders do not start building this trust and rapport with employees when changes happen; they recognize that this has to occur throughout the year through many of the tactics mentioned above. Excellent leaders reveal their passion and intentions for the company as much as they can to cause staff to feel inclined to follow their lead when it comes to implementing change.
Take the Time to Listen
Communication is a two-way street, and one of the most effective things an excellent leader can do is actively listen to employees as well as the customers they serve. Whether it be feedback on what management can do better or a new sales tactic suggestion, great leaders take time to sit down and hear what their internal stakeholders have to say. This action makes workers feel listened to and is more likely to cause them to feel loyal and dedicated to those they work with. Along with listening, leaders take the time to admit when they have come up short or could have done something differently.
It may sound cliché, but communication is critical to any company’s success. Purposeful dialogue should happen all over a dealership, but its implementation has to start at the top with excellent leadership. Great leaders realize the significance that exemplary communication has on keeping employees motivated, engaged, and loyal to their dealership. It can be the difference between increasing morale or causing a mass turnover. When leaders become active listeners and begin to communicate in a clear and respectful way, employees are more likely to stick around and contribute their best.