Tips to improve communication between employer and employee

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You have worked for your company for 5 years. You work fast and get the job done well, however you are still at the same position where you started 5 years ago. Why so? Do you know the reason? Have you ever thought the reason is that your communication between you and the boss is not good? The employer likes your work but he still finds it hard to push you for promotion just because you don’t score well during appraisals. You speak not much; your leadership qualities are slighted. Do you know how to solve all this stuff? This article may be useful for you to improve communication between an employer and an employee.

Profiling The Silent Worker

The silent worker is one who does not talk much. He generally goes around doing his job quietly and efficiently and leaves right on time. He usually answers questions in monosyllable or short sentences and find it uncomfortable to partake in open discussions actively. Usually he is not missed by colleagues even when he does not report in work due to medical reasons or leave.


In many situations, the silent worker is one who has garnered a vast deal of information and knowledge about the work he does, sometimes much more than his peers around him. But because he is so quiet and does not open up, others do not know what he is thinking or feeling. Thus, it is very likely that other co-workers are missing a great deal of information which can be gleamed from him. Yet, the silent worker does not feel that he is missing anything for he is so used to silence all the time. This impedes knowledge sharing and makes the workplace a little duller without casual conversations and a joke once in a while.


Managing Silent Workers during Appraisals

Henry is meeting his boss, Michael, for the open appraisal. In many similar appraisals before this one, they were generally low key events where the boss does all the talking and Henry does all the nodding without voicing his opinions or concerns. What then should Henry or his boss do or react at the appraisal so as to benefit both parties?


As Henry’s boss, Michael has the responsibility of letting Henry know what he thinks of his performance over the past year and how Henry can better himself. As a start, Michael can set targets for Henry to achieve, especially tasks that involve Henry to communicate with parties so that this may help Henry to open up. Also, he can send Henry to company courses to better Henry’s communication skills and help him to gain more confidence in himself.


During the appraisal, Michael could start the session on an informal note. For example, he could bring in a cup of coffee for Henry, who we expect to be sitting in one corner of the room waiting for Michael to come in. Also, Michael could start the session by asking Henry casual things such as “how was lunch?” and “how’s your new lawnmower doing?” In engaging Henry in small talk, Michael is creating a more comfortable environment where Henry can feel more relaxed and open up.


To engage Henry actively in discussion over the past year’s performance, the discussion should not be one-way (only Michael talking) to be fruitful. The most important point to remember is not to butt in when Henry is speaking and instead, encourage him to share more and keep talking. Also, the appraiser must give the silent worker time to talk and be patient and sincere in the process.


To start the appraising properly, Michael can tell Henry what he thinks are his strengths and the positive experiences working with him. This will boost Henry’s confidence himself and make him aware that he is doing a great job. Then, Michael can focus on the shortcomings, and action plans to eradicate the shortcomings. Lastly, Michael can end the appraisal session by summarizing Henry’s strong points and strengths and his targets for the coming year. A pat on the back or a casual chat on the way out of the meeting room will also do wonders.



This article has provided insights and useful tips on how to appraise silent workers. While the tips may be followed closely, it is imperative that managers should provide constant feedback to the staff and engage the staff actively in discussions from time to time for maximum effect.


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Mong Wee John Ng has 1 articles online

The author is an executive working in the transport industry and an ardent observer of different management styles. He strongly believes the best managers are those who lead by example and know how to make everyone comfortable around them. The author thinks he is naturally competitive but not ambitious at all though he likes to take up additional responsibilities. And yeah, he likes a break from work once in a while!

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Tips to improve communication between employer and employee

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This article was published on 2010/04/20