Best Practices of Communication for Managers

Inconsistency, lack of clarity, and lack of listening are barriers to communication (Ready Training Online, 2018).  Ineffective communication breaks trust and creates misunderstandings, where effective communication increases engagement, improves efficiencies, and creates opportunities for increased understanding and better morale (SHRM, n.d.). 

Three Best Practices of Communication 

To solve the problem of consistency, it is a best practice for managers to communicate often and real-time, to be responsive and respond quickly (Martic, 2020).  In times of change (or high stress), it is best for leaders to communicate even more to stay connected to the team (Brownlee, 2019).  According to Robert Half Talent Solutions, a guideline is to communicate two to three times more often with remote employees (Robert Half, 2020). 

To solve the problem of lack of clarity, it is a best practice for managers to be transparent and honest in their communication (Martic, 2020).  Straight talk, presenting the facts, is an important part of this transparency (Robert Half, 2020).  Transparency, rather than omitting facts or failing to communicate bad news, builds trust and relationship between leaders and employees (Brownlee, 2019). 

To solve the problem of lack of listening, it is best practice to ask for input and feedback, ask for the employee’s perspective, and ask for explanation of the scenario (Young Entrepreneur Council, 2015).  Good managers try to understand and connect through listening more than talking (Brownlee, 2019).  By being active and empathetic listeners, two-way communication is achieved, and employees feel that they are heard and respected (Robert Half, 2019).  Being a great listener also means that the manager will be equipped to respond better due to increased understanding (Young Entrepreneur Council, 2015).  Supporting those two-way conversations make employees engaged and improves the quality and frequency of feedback (Martic, 2020). 

Ensuring Communications are Received 

Whether. a manager says something face to face, sends an email, sends a text, or says something on the phone, they need to receive acknowledgement that the message was received.  This may be a verbal confirmation, long sigh, or a nonverbal nod of the head.  The manager can request immediate feedback or acknowledgement to verify that the message was received (Sanchez, n.d.). 

Listening is Key to Understanding the Context and Priority of Each Message 

As mentioned earlier, active listening is crucial to understanding.  Context and priority, critical to determine the importance of the message and its true meaning, can only come from an open-minded, empathetic approach to listening.  An effective manager must shift their perspective to put themselves in their employee’s shoes (Engaged HR, 2016). 

What Actions Come Next? 

A manager needs to consistently set clear expectations and clarify the action steps that need to be taken.  In these expectations, both the quality of work as well as the timeframe should be communicated, the purpose, and the breakdown of steps and actions that need to be taken (Impraise, n.d.).  It is a leader’s responsibility to communicate the goals and tasks in a way that is clear to employees (Brownlee, 2019). 

How Can Managers Ensure Information Is Effective? 

Managers need to troubleshoot any communication issues and check the usefulness of their message and their communication channel (McQuerrey, n.d.).  By being available to employees (Robert Half, 2020) and being adaptable to the situation (Young Entrepreneur Council, 2015), managers can communicate in a way that suits the situation, including the audience and the context. 

Beyond the communication issues that would impair communication, it is important to consider the content of the message itself.  Effective content in communication should be clear, concise, and accurate.  If it is emotionally-charged, controversial, or too personal, it may not be effective (Freemont College, n.d.). 


Brownlee, D. (2019, July 1). 5 Communications Best Practices of Great Leaders. 

Engaged HR. (2016, August 17). Communication: The Importance of Context. 

Freemont College. (n.d.). Top 10 Tips for Effective Workplace Communication. 

Impraise. (n.d.). How to clearly set and communicate expectations as a manager 

Martic, K. (2020, January 21). 14 Manager Communication Best Practices You Shouldn’t Ignore. 

McQuerrey, L. (n.d.). Manager’s Role in Facilitation & Effective Communication. 

Ready Training Online. (2018, May 23). Barriers to effective communication. 

Robert Half Talent Solutions. (2020, June 22). 7 Strategies for Improving Your Management Communication Skills. 

Sanchez, N. (n.d.). Communications Process. 

SHRM. (n.d.). Managing Organizational Communication. 

Young Entrepreneur Council. (2015, May 18). 14 Best Practices for More Effective Communication: Effective communication is a critical leadership skill, but it takes practice. 

Published by Art Ocain

I am a DevOps advocate, not because I am a developer (I’m not), but because of the cultural shift it represents and the agility it gains. I am also a fan of the theory of constraints and applying constraint management to all areas of business: sales, finance, planning, billing, and all areas of operations. My speaking: I have done a lot of public speaking in my various roles over the years, including presentations at SBDC (Small Business Development Center) and Central PA Chamber of Commerce events as well as events that I have organized at MePush. My writing: I write a lot. Blog articles on the MePush site, press-releases for upcoming events to media contracts, posts on LinkedIn (, presentations on Slideshare (, posts on the Microsoft Tech Community, articles on Medium (, and posts on Quora ( I am always looking for new places to write, as well. My certifications: ISACA Certified Information Security Manager (CISM), Certified Web Application Security Professional (CWASP), Certified Data Privacy Practitioner (CDPP), Cisco Certified Network Associate (CCNA), VMware Certified Professional (VCP-DCV), Microsoft Certified System Engineer (MCSE), Veeam Certified Engineer (VMCE), Microsoft 365 Security Administrator, Microsoft 365 Enterprise Administrator, Azure Administrator, Azure Security Administrator, Azure Architect, CompTIA Network+, CompTIA Security+, ITIL v4 Foundations, Certified ScrumMaster, Certified Scrum Product Owner, AWS Certified Cloud Practitioner See certification badges on Acclaim here: My experience: I have a lot of experience from developing a great company with great people and culture to spinning up an impressive DevOps practice and designing impressive solutions. I have been a project manager, a President, a COO, a CTO, and an incident response coordinator. From architecting cloud solutions down to the nitty-gritty of replacing hardware, I have done it all. When it comes to technical leadership, I am the go-to for many companies. I have grown businesses and built brands. I have been a coach and a mentor, developing the skills and careers of those in my company. I have formed and managed teams, and developed strong leaders and replaced myself within the company time and again as I evolved. See my experience on LinkedIn here:

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