Research: How to get managers to communicate better

Communication is key. This applies in all areas of life, personal as well as professional. But how does it apply to managers? And why is it so important that they communicate effectively?

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We write a lot about communication, collaboration and why internal communicators should pay attention to building connections, so it’s only right we find out how managers can communicate better with their teams.

Jenni Field, business communications specialist with 20 years’ experience and Founder of Redefining Communications, ‘explores the role of line managers in organisations today’ in her latest report: Line of Sight.

In collaboration with SocialOptic, Redefining Communications answers three key questions within the research:

  • Are line managers an anchor point?
  • Do we need line managers?
  • What is their role today?

Jenni describes an anchor point as “something we tether to, which could be a person or a location, but it’s about having a point of connection.”

Jenni paired up with Benjamin Ellis, Data Scientist, Cultural Strategist and Founder of SocialOptic, to deliver a research survey to organisations between March and April 2021.

The report revealed 12 things you need to know about line managers in 2021, with helpful statistics and information on how these findings will shape the way employees and line managers communicate with each other going forward.

Key statistics:

  • 70% of people had a new team member join this year
  • 42% of line managers say they have to rewrite information to pass to their team
  • The top three information sources were: managers, senior leaders and media or external sources

We asked Jenni what her motivation was for launching the research and publishing the Line of Sight report. She told us:

“I was motivated to carry out our research into line managers after a LinkedIn post in August 2020. A question was raised about whether the role of the line manager is needed in organisations today. I argued that they are needed more than ever and offer the anchor point for many. Over the years, the role of the line manager has been viewed as a bit of a mystery.

Most internal communications professionals will, at some point, have experienced line managers who present a barrier to effective communication. With all the change and digital transformation that took place during the pandemic, the question of the role of line manager came up again and again. I wanted to find out if they are an anchor point for individuals and – to the original point – whether we even need line managers anymore?”

You can download the Line of Sight report for free. A big thank you to Jenni Field for sharing this valuable research with us.

If you liked this, you'll want to know more about our line manager communication training, 2-Minute Communicator for Communicators.




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