Exciting technological advances happen daily, but it is still up to the employer and employees to ensure the business makes profit and is sustainable. Effective communication in the workplace plays a vital role. Employers must take care to communicate clearly in order to create a working environment receptive of growth. Employers must consult with the employees (individually or in a group) on a regular basis. A record should also kept of all consultations. This will create a platform for employees to voice their thoughts and ideas, as well as to discuss any specific needs.
Communicate clearly with regards to the following important aspects:
Terms and conditions of employment
An employment contract is crucial in managing labour relations. This forms the basis of the relationship between the employer and the employee. It is the most important document in the workplace and defines the terms and conditions as agreed upon between the parties, regulating their relationship. All duties, company policies and procedures, as well as the disciplinary code, form part of the employment contract.
Take note that no part of the employment contract may be amended unilaterally and without consultation with the employee. When drafting an employment contract, the employer must take care to ensure that the contract complies with all applicable labour legislation depending on the specific industry.
Policies, procedures, expectations and goals
Relevant policies and procedures, the employer’s expectations and the employee’s goals must be clearly communicated. Depending on the specific needs of the business, the following aspects should receive attention:
- code of conduct;
- working hours;
- the employer’s fixed standard with regards to quality and quantity;
- health and safety;
- relevant procedures for lodging grievances.
The grievance procedure is one of the most important procedures in the workplace. It aims to identify and resolve any dissatisfaction or feelings of injustice form an employee’s side. The grievance procedure also helps to protect the employer in a case of constructive dismissal.
Communication is not only to share information, duties and clarifying goals, but also a tool to identify the ways to achieve these goals. If these expectations, goals and tasks are not properly communicated, there would be no foundation on which to track and evaluate work performance.
Regular performance reviews ensure that employees have a clear understanding of whether they are reaching goals and agreed standards. Employers should take note to document and record these performance conversations. It is also advisable to have some form of performance feedback system and criteria in place that both the employer and employee understands. Regular performance reviews can be held every 3 to 6 months. This is done to provide feedback on the employee’s performance and discuss expectations/objectives for the coming months. Regular catch-up meetings every 2 to 3 weeks can also be held with employees to provide ongoing feedback.
Guidelines for better communication in the workplace
Effective communication plays a vital role in creating a workplace receptive to growth. All information or messages must be communicated in a clear, logical and understandable manner. Making feedback part of the process also helps to make sure the message sent is the message received. The culture, gender, values, beliefs, etc. of all parties should also be taken into consideration in the communication process to ensure effective communication.
Labour legislation sets strict requirements that employers must comply with. Compliance is not a luxury, but a necessity. We strongly advise employers to make use of purpose-built employment contracts and follow correct procedures with regards to all labour matters.
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