The single most important aspect of Human Resources in any setting or application is communication. Without the proper communication, you will not be able to appropriately assess difficult situations that occur between employees in the workplace or when a company wide issue arises that you need to handle. And as many HR professionals will tell you, communication is a two way street, and only works when traffic is following all the rules of the road.


Below, are the essential keys to effective communication that every HR professional and employee needs to know to have a positive work environment.


Engaged Listening

In order to effectively speak to someone else, you need to be able to listen to what they are saying in order to appropriately respond. Communication is give and take; much of what people forget is that hearing someone and listening to someone are different acts, and listening requires much more than just hearing someone out.


Managing In-The-Moment Stress

This piece of advice can go both ways- as an HR representative, you are to be the mediator that keeps upset employees calm, and you also have to show great restraint when someone is making a complaint against you, any processes that you oversee, or if anything questionable is mentioned about the company. There are many different types of personalities that you will be responsible for, and being able to calm someone in a time of stress or distress will take you far in success.


Being Respectful While Being Assertive

In the same aspect as the above key skill, no matter what the situation is, you must be able to uphold the standards of your company to all employees in a respectful manner, even if you are the one being disrespected. A lot can be learned from watching someone handle an insult respectfully.


Be Honest

Honesty is a core pillar of trust, and trust is a core pillar of effective communication. Being honest, transparent, and focusing on what your employee is saying will help them to feel more comfortable opening up to you. This newfound openness to communication should never be taken for granted, and should be used to help someone to grow and not to get someone to tattle on another teammate. Additionally, if you’re speaking with someone who respects you and who may be in the wrong, they will take your advice much more seriously when you tell them they may need to readjust their thinking in order to solve an in-house issue.


Use Simple Wording

When you’re upset or confused, it can take extra concentration to process complicated sentences. Unfortunately, the HR rulebook can be full of complicated sentences, rules, and explanations. It’s best to keep everything simple. Not only will your point get across faster, breaking things down to the core message will show people that you’re not trying to trick them and that your words can be trusted. It’s important to be able to adapt towards each personality in the office, and keeping your vocabulary simple is a great way to start evening the playing field.


Have you used any of the above communication tactics? Tweet your experiences to me!