Lead on Purpose

Promoting Leadership Principles in Product Management

Great leaders engage and communicate


Guest post by Annabelle Smyth

Learning how to communicate with your employees is vital to being a great manager. A leader that knows how to communicate and understands an employee’s situation is one that employee’s want to work for. Communication can improve teamwork, unity, productivity, and efficiency.


Nonverbal communication

Nonverbal communication is an important part of communicating with your employees. Great leaders have the ability to understand an employee’s nonverbal communication. They are aware of body language, facial expressions, tone, and their distance from each other. While nonverbal communication comes innately to some, it is a learned skill you can improve.

Understanding what your employees are saying is important, but you also need to be aware of what you are saying with your nonverbal communication. How do you sit in your meetings? Do your eyes constantly wander? Do you make eye contact with the person talking to you? Communication is a two-way street, even when only one person is talking.

Verbal Communication

Verbal communication is the type that we most often associate with when someone mentions communication. Employees want to work for managers who communicate effectively. According to a Gallup study, employees that have a manager they feel comfortable approaching and talking to are more engaged in their work. Having a disengaged employee can devastate to a company. A disengaged employee can cost a company $3,400 per every $10,000 in annual salary. That can add up really quickly! Moreover, disengaged employees are costing the American economy up to $350 billion per year due to lost productivity.

A recent study by BambooHR also found that employees who received positive feedback were more likely to report higher job satisfaction. In fact, 94% of the people surveyed who were highly satisfied with their job reported that they received positive recognition on a daily basis. That number drops to only 75% for people who only receive positive recognition on a monthly basis, and plummets to 43% when given only a few times a year.

They also found that outside of monetary recognition, employees want to be recognized publicly. Nearly one third of employees surveyed said that they would rather receive a companywide email from an executive applauding them for their hard work than receive a $500 bonus.

Wait. What? Employees would rather have a thank you than a cash bonus?

What does that tell you about our current recognition systems right now? It might be time to make sure your employees know how much you appreciate them.

Annabelle Smyth is a freelance writer who covers everything from HR to technology and leadership skills. Her most recent work involves partnership marketing with Bamboo HR where she has had the opportunity to learn about the relationship between leadership and successful businesses.

The Product Management Perspective: One of the most important things you can do as a product manager is to effectively engage the teams you work with in the cause of your product(s). Work hard to build trust and get them connected to the ‘why’ of your product and they will help increase the success of your products.

2 thoughts on “Great leaders engage and communicate

  1. Pingback: Resolving conflict–and other innovation insights for product managers Oct 14, 2016 - The Everyday Innovator - Resources for Product Managers and Innovators

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