Communication in any context is important, but it’s especially important when it comes to your employment. It is not the responsibility of your employer to know what you want. While it would be lovely to believe that every employer will have your best interest in mind, it’s just not true. The onus is on you to make sure your employment plan is communicated with your employer and if they are not willing to accommodate, or don’t agree with your employment expectations then it’s time for you to make some decisions in regards to if this employment situation meets your objectives.
While I could talk all day about the importance of communication in business I’ll just stick to three main areas for now:
- Communication in times of flux
Times of Flux
Depending on the employment environment, communication may be the first organizational tactic to suffer in times when workloads are increased, expectations are higher than normal, and business is in flux. In reality, it’s times like these that communication is needed most as without it disorganization is pretty much guaranteed. As an employee, this is not the time to throw communication to the wind. It is, however, time to simplify it. Give Cole’s notes version of your memo, and simply state that you’re available to discuss if further clarification if needed. Keep detailed notes within your calendar to record the tasks you’ve done and miscellaneous details about each in case it’s brought up after the fact. Lastly, remain professional in both written and verbal communications at all times. When we’re stressed we tend to communicate with no regard to how it may come across. Be cautious of this and prove that you can handle high-stress situations. When the waters calm, schedule a meeting with your supervisor to discuss situations that occurred during this time and areas of opportunities that can assist with the next big business increase.
Setting boundaries for employment communication can be difficult. I know for me in my FTJ, people can communicate with me in multiple ways including email, text and calls on both personal and work cellphones, and WhatsApp. When I’m on the road visiting different locations, there were absolutely times when it became communication overload. Having messages from people on multiple applications, and constantly getting notifications. We simplified the process by reducing the number of methods, which has helped me to ensure I’m not missing any communications from my co-workers but also limits the number of applications I need to reference in case I need this information in the future. All around, it’s a time saver!
Boundaries are also important in regards to what time of day communication is expected. Is it acceptable for you to receive phone calls at 5 am or 10 pm? What about weekends or during your vacation? It’s one thing to have emergency situations, but it is absolutely draining to be receiving employment communications from 5 am to 10 pm 7 days a week. There should be a work-life balance there, and it will be different depending on your position. It’s important to set your boundaries and professionally communicate with your supervisor, as they may not even be aware that it’s an issue for you.
My last point in regards to development falls back on you. If you’re lacking communication skills, you need to seek out training to grow your weakness. It doesn’t matter if its written skills, verbal skills or even dispute resolutions skills. It is not up to the company to provide you with communication training. You should arrange a meeting with your supervisor to explain your desire to develop your communication skills and inquire if they have any resources available. Perhaps they have a partnership with an organization that offers such training or maybe they’ll consider covering the cost of it. It’s also possible they’ll be no help at all. At the end of the day, its an aspect of professional development that will continue to help you throughout your entire career.
What are your thoughts on communication and employment? Connect with me using the #AmandaMarieBiz tag!