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Does 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, some people at the company probably 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 and distrust and lead to mental health issues down the road.

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

  • Show empathy– Building strong connections with team members shows emotional intelligence. Empathy in the workplace has resulted in more productivity in the team and has led to better internal support. Studies have shown that empathetic leaders inspire confidence and loyalty among team members, leading to better performance. At the same time, it’s important to remember that these are unprecedented times, and employees also feel Leaders need to tell them that it’s okay to feel that way and inspire them to believe that better times lie ahead.
  • Praise and acknowledge –  A study by theInternational Journal of Science and Research concluded a direct correlation between rewards and recognition and job satisfaction and motivation. Rewards needn’t be material in form. Even acknowledging employees’ work in dire circumstances is enough reward for many. Being seen by the leadership for their efforts goes a massive way in transforming their attitude.
  • Being a part of the team CEOs can 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 go 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 important to them is that CEOs listen to themand implement organizational changes. When employees feel they are being validated, it earns you loyalty and happy, motivated employees.

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