Incredibly demanding workloads and travel schedules can make it hard for managers to find the time to connect with reports in meaningful ways during the typical work day or even work week. This lack of connection means that employees don't have the vision or information they need to get the work done. And when employees feel as if they can't add value, they will leave for places where they feel they can make a difference and be appreciated.
So, how do you keep lines of communication open? It takes commitment from managers and employees to create a system of staying in touch and in tune:
Commit to a schedule of touch points and stick to them. Committing and following through on meeting sets the tone for what is said during them.
Ensure the schedule includes face-to-face, phone or video call sessions. Email is great, but it's not the way to develop a relationship. "In-person" conversations allow for meaningful conversation. Don't feel as if all meetings need to be hours long. Short 15-minute touch points can be very productive if there's an agenda ahead of time.
Prepare in advance for in-person meetings by forwarding information ahead of time. This means there's less wasted time locating documents.
Create next steps together, including identifying resources to get the work done. Talk about approaches to motivating others to help get the work done.
When it comes to communication, it's quality, not quantity.