The Key To Good Manager-Employee Communication

Human Resource Management System

In the past, I have discussed the integrated human resource management philosophy. Quick refresher: the integrated HR system management philosophy focuses on HOW the 4 key elements of PA, S, T&D, M work together. This philosophy uses HR Plan (HRP) & Job Analysis (JA) to gather information that is feed into the Performance Appraisal (PA) which in turn is interlaced with the other three elements of Selection (S), Training & Development (T&D), and Motivation (M). During the selection (S) process, expectations are established by the employer and applicant. Setting expectations is like communication … it’s a 2-way street between the applicant/employee & the manager. If those expectations are not met, adjustments need to be made quickly. After an applicant is hired, T&D is established based upon those expectations. But, have you ever thought how employer/employee communication is affected by those expectations?

HOW COMMUNICATION HAPPENS in a “given situation” will often affect employee retention and motivation. A study of 400 full time employees conducted by an employee engagement firm on the high cost of micro-management found a strong correlation between employee job satisfaction & “the freedom to make decisions about how to do their jobs”. Employees whose hands are regularly tied are 28% more likely to think about greener pastures elsewhere.

Both the manager & employee need to be aware that management/employee COMMUNICATION STYLE MUST CHANGE as the employee becomes more proficient on the job. The responsibility-readiness of the employee is related to the management style imposed by the manager. 

(Employee Readiness & Manager Style Evolution)

Take a moment to familiarize yourself with the chart shown above while remembering that the question “What to do” is answered from top-down and “How to do” should be answered from bottom-up. In this chart:

  • R = Employee Readiness…it is the ability and willingness of the employee to do the task…in other words, the employee responsibility readiness. This should first be identified during the selection process and is measured during the performance appraisal…it must be demonstrated & not just potential! Let me explain employee responsibility readiness letters:
    • Responsibility (R1) = the employee is not willing (NW) to do the job & not able (NA) to do it;
    • R2 = the employee is willing (W) but not able (NA);
    • R3 = the employee is not willing (NW) but able( A);
    • R4 = the employee is willing (W) and able (A) to do the job.
  • S = Management Style that must change as the employee becomes more job proficient.

Be sure to note: R4 employees must understand that delegation is a series of renewable options and NOT a contract to the end. The manager and employee must set interim points based upon whether an assignment can still recover. Managers, on the other hand, must understand the difference between obtaining information & intervention in the task

Simply put, MANAGEMENT STYLE MATTERS! REMEMBER: Managers who communicate a style to the extreme can create expectations that adversely affect the employee’s communication, motivation and even performance appraisal (PA). These points are shown on the chart as the white triangles in each corner square. When management is persistently over-involved in unproductive ways, it can quickly become a retention and motivation issue. For instance: If management style S4 (Delegation)is needed for the circumstances & you use S2 (Sell style), you are over-managing. On the other hand: If management style S1 (Tell) is required and the manager gives S3 (Participate), then under-managing occurs.

For more information about the integrated Human Resource system, read other thought posts.

Copyright ©John Trenary 2022

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