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Does a strongly-worded communication help your employees perform?

Every CEO aspires to be an assertive leader. Recently, Mark Zuckerberg in his desire to pull Meta out of a disappointing quarter after which the company’s market cap dropped $230 billion,  came under fire when he did a call with employees to announce slow hiring and told them this: “Some of you might decide that this place isn’t for you, and that self-selection is OK with me. Realistically, there are probably a bunch of people at the company who shouldn’t be here.”

Ouch. While strongly worded communication has yielded results in the past, pressuring employees and using aggressive communication is not healthy in the long run. For many people, fear of losing their job might motivate them to perform better for a while, but it can also lead to a quick attrition rate, not to mention create an atmosphere of unease, distrust and lead to mental health issues down the road.

An alternate to an aggressive stance is positive communication that some CEOs are known to use to motivate their employees. Harsh words and scare tactics might well be the way of the high-flying technology world, but there are alternative ways to communicate. We give four alternate ways you can communicate to your employees to boost productivity.

  • Show empathy – Building strong connections with team members is a sign of emotional intelligence. Empathy in the workplace has shown to result in more productivity in the team and has led to better internal support. Studies have shown that empathetic leaders inspire confidence and loyalty among the team members which leads to overall better performance. At the same time, it’s important to remember that these are unprecedented times and employees are also feeling unmotivated. Leaders need to tell them that it’s okay to feel that way and to inspire them to believe that better times lie ahead.
  • Praise and acknowledge –  A study done by the International Journal of Science and Research concluded that there is a direct correlation between rewards and recognition and job satisfaction and motivation. Rewards needn’t be material in form. Even acknowledging the work that employees have done in dire circumstances is enough reward for many of them. Being seen by the leadership for their efforts goes a huge way in transforming their attitude.
  • Being a part of the team CEOs can truly be team leaders, only when they are a part of the team, not apart from the team. Fostering collaboration within the team, helping others achieve their goals and creating a sense of belonging goes a long way in building a sense of community within the team members, engendering loyalty and ascribing more meaning to whatever they are tasked with.
  • Listen to your employees – Employees need to feel psychologically safe about airing their views and offering feedback without fear of being criticised or vilified. But what’s really important to them is that CEOs listen to them and implement changes into the organisation. When employees feel they are being validated, it earns you loyalty and happy, motivated employees.

The best resources in any company are its people and when CEOs invest in them, in upskilling them, it boosts employee morale, helps them feel secure enough to handle newer challenges and also ensures that everything runs smoothly. With the future looking uncertain, the best way to be prepared for it is by preparing ourselves, and this includes employees. After all, there are several excellent CEOs who have not let the ball slip even during times of crisis.