10 Tips For Improving Line Manager Communication

10 Tips For Improving Line Manager Communication

10 Tips For Improving Line Manager Communication

Last updated on June 27, 2024 at 06:16 am

Line managers play an undeniably critical role in the operations and management of all businesses, effectively bridging the gap between higher management and frontline workers.

However, their presence, skills, and talents are only worthwhile if they are capable of communicating and translating the goals and objectives of an organization into day-to-day operations. This is easier said than done and is the reason why most line managers fail to achieve the goals laid out to them.

In this article, we uncover reasons why communication is the most important skill for a line manager and provide various tips, tricks, and best practices for effectively improving line manager communication.

10 Tips for Better Line Manager Communication

1. Master the Art of Active Listening

Before you can learn to communicate effectively, you need to learn to listen—and not just listen, but listen intently, also referred to as Active Listening.

This involves concentrating on what is being said in the conversation rather than passively hearing the message. It means paying attention to the speaker’s body language, tone of voice, and, most importantly, words.

In addition, the listener should encourage questions and feedback while responding and following up intently to show that they have understood the concerns. This is often the first step towards building trust and making your team feel valued.

Most people, including seasoned managers, often forget that communication is a two-way street, requiring an intent listener to convey the message effectively. Such intent listeners can only exist if you have been just as intent while listening to their concerns.

2. Keep It Clear and Concise

It is easy to get lost in the art of communication, especially when conversing with subordinates. Managers often make the mistake of using jargon-filled terms and statements with the sole intent of establishing their authority, only to lose their audience in the process.

Communication should be straightforward. Whether it is an email, a presentation, or just a casual conversation, make it a point to get the message across as efficiently and effectively as possible, using the simplest, clearest, and most concise terms.

This not only prevents misunderstandings but also keeps employee morale from tarnishing, which would likely be the case if they find it difficult to grasp your train of thought.

3. Adapt Your Communication Style

Not everyone in your team will digest information the same way. Some might prefer detailed emails, others brief face-to-face chats.

Understanding your team members’ preferred communication styles can significantly enhance the effectiveness of your interactions. Tailor your communication style to match the audience to ensure your message is well-received.

Adaptation goes beyond just the medium of communication. Some might like a simple, no-frills, straightforward approach, while certain other teams and cultures might prefer a bit of small talk before getting down to business. Again, this is a way of showing people that they are valued.

Also Read: Internal Communication Strategy Checklist [Download]

4. Regular Updates and Feedback

For a line manager to effectively communicate with his subordinates, it is essential to keep them informed and in the loop regarding all updates pertaining to their jobs. This includes changes to company policies, general announcements, feedback on their work, etc.

Instead of a long-drawn-out feedback model, where workers learn the flaws in their performance only a couple of months later, make sure to keep them regularly updated so that they can take corrective action right away. This can be done in an informal manner, as opposed to the official route, which is done quarterly or yearly.

However, keep in mind that feedback is a two-way street. Offer constructive criticism regularly to help employees put their best foot forward, but be open to receiving feedback as well. This not only helps managers better evaluate their own performance but also aids in building group morale.

5. Empathy Goes A Long Way

Empathy in communication reflects a leader’s ability to understand and share another person’s feelings. In your interactions, try to see things from your team’s perspective. This will help you address their concerns more effectively and foster a supportive team environment, leading to enhanced productivity.

Adding empathy also humanizes your leadership. When team members see their leader striving to understand their personal and professional challenges, it strengthens their loyalty and trust in management.

This connection can inspire greater effort and engagement, further driving the team’s success and cohesiveness.

6. Utilize Multiple Communication Channels

In the digital age, leveraging technology can significantly enhance communication. Use tools like Slack, Microsoft Teams, or Zoom to keep in touch, especially with remote teams. These tools also offer features that can enhance messages, like polls for quick feedback or video calls for more personal interaction.

They are all the more critical in today’s remote/hybrid work environments, where cohesiveness within teams and organizations is being challenged. With the right use of these tools, however, line managers can foster the same sense of teamwork and loyalty as in physical workspaces.

These tools, with all of their sophisticated features and solutions, do not mean much if they are not utilized properly. Ideally, line managers should make it a point to have regular updates with their team, alongside monthly or weekly all-hands meetings, to build a sense of belonging.

7. Be Approachable and Accessible

Create an environment where team members feel comfortable voicing their thoughts and ideas. An open-door policy can be beneficial for this. Encouraging open dialogue helps in fostering innovation and can lead to critical insights and solutions that you might not have considered.

The key to management is understanding that you are merely a facilitator and do not do or add much value yourself. The core focus of your job is getting things done via others in the most efficient way possible.

Encouraging dialogue is the first step in this process. It earns the trust of your team while better understanding their concerns about the goals and objectives. For a manager, simply being just and approachable is half the battle and is thus one of the most important qualities to possess.

Also Read: Internal Communications Podcast Ideas

8. Training & Continuous Improvement

Always look for ways to improve your communication skills. Attend workshops, seek feedback from peers and subordinates, and be willing to adapt new methods. As you evolve, so will your team, leading to better results and a more harmonious work environment.

Consider implementing regular self-assessments and reflections on your communication practices. This introspection can help you identify not only areas of strength but also aspects that need enhancement, allowing you to focus on continuous personal and professional growth strategically.

9. Prioritize Regular Communication

Be consistent in your communication. Whether it’s the tone, frequency, or medium used, consistency helps set expectations and reduces anxiety. Employees feel more secure when they know what to expect and when.

Chaos, disorganization, and a lack of planning lowers morale substantially, especially among employees who truly want to contribute and excel.

Without consistency, workers will become people who merely do the bare minimum to keep their jobs. Being consistent and organized is a way of earning their trust while also informing them that their efforts and contributions will not be taken for granted.

10. Lead By Example

One of the best things a line manager can do is lead by example wherever they can to best drive the principles and ethos of an organization within their teams or group members.

When it comes to conveying certain changes pertaining to operations or workflow, line managers should consider getting their hands dirty by performing the task themselves and setting an example for their teams to follow.

In the grand history of corporate leadership, there are few ideals held higher than leading by example. Leaders who put themselves through the grind, to better understand and emphasize with their teammates often get the best out of them, leading to better results overall.

Also Read: How to Create an Internal Communications Channel Strategy


Implementing these tips requires patience and persistence. However, the rewards of a well-informed and engaged team are well worth the effort. Effective communication by line managers can transform teams, creating a more dynamic, committed, and satisfied workforce.

When implementing the best practices of communication with the rank and file, few solutions are better suited for each of the aspects discussed above and more than Engagedly’s talent management solution.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. What is the goal of a line manager at an organization?

A line manager’s goal is to act as a bridge between higher management and line workers within their team. They convey the organization’s larger goals and objectives by effectively translating them into everyday parlance and day-to-day operations.

2. How should a good line manager communicate?

Apart from possessing strong interpersonal skills that involve a good voice, body language, and confidence in how they carry themselves, a good line manager should strive to build rapport with their team. They should effectively convey what is expected of them to achieve organizational goals and objectives.

3. How can line managers build trust among team members?

Being an active listener is a great way to build trust among team members. Line managers should intently listen to concerns to better understand subordinates’ problems and perspectives.


Subscribe To The theEMPLOYEEapp Newsletter

Recommended Resources

Comments are closed.