Written by

Bernard Marr

Bernard Marr is a world-renowned futurist, influencer and thought leader in the fields of business and technology, with a passion for using technology for the good of humanity. He is a best-selling author of 20 books, writes a regular column for Forbes and advises and coaches many of the world’s best-known organisations. He has over 2 million social media followers, 1 million newsletter subscribers and was ranked by LinkedIn as one of the top 5 business influencers in the world and the No 1 influencer in the UK.

Bernard’s latest book is ‘Business Trends in Practice: The 25+ Trends That Are Redefining Organisations’

View Latest Book

Follow Me

Bernard Marr ist ein weltbekannter Futurist, Influencer und Vordenker in den Bereichen Wirtschaft und Technologie mit einer Leidenschaft für den Einsatz von Technologie zum Wohle der Menschheit. Er ist Bestsellerautor von 20 Büchern, schreibt eine regelmäßige Kolumne für Forbes und berät und coacht viele der weltweit bekanntesten Organisationen. Er hat über 2 Millionen Social-Media-Follower, 1 Million Newsletter-Abonnenten und wurde von LinkedIn als einer der Top-5-Business-Influencer der Welt und von Xing als Top Mind 2021 ausgezeichnet.

Bernards neueste Bücher sind ‘Künstliche Intelligenz im Unternehmen: Innovative Anwendungen in 50 Erfolgreichen Unternehmen’

View Latest Book

Follow Me

The Number 1 Problem People Have With Their Boss

2 July 2021

According to a study by the National Business Research Institute, the number 1 problem people report having with their boss or manager is a lack of communication. From the report:

“I think one of the things employees dislike the most is the lack of context that their employers provide,” said Heidi Gorman, CMO of Capital H Group. “By that I mean many employees do not get enough information from their employers to have answers to basic questions like, ‘What’s really expected of me?’, ‘How will my performance be judged?’ and ‘How does what I do, day-in-and-day-out, help the overall company achieve its goals?’ It is important for all employees, regardless of what they do, to have these essential questions answered because it gives a sense of meaning to their work.”

One reason that communication problems are so rampant is because they are ongoing, as opposed to single events. When communication fails, employees tend to draw back and become afraid to ask questions or speak up when they foresee a problem.
In short, if you want open communication from your employees when it matters, you need to model the behavior yourself. Here are a few suggestions to get started:

Share your knowledge.

Whether it’s about a change the company is making or a client you’ve worked with before, be proactive about sharing information with your team. Most employees are much better able to roll with the punches when they understand the reasoning behind what’s happening.

Engage in small talk.

You may think small talk is counter productive at work, but employees are more likely to trust you if they feel like they know you. Inquiring about their families, hobbies, or interests in a genuine way is a good way to foster trust and more open communication.

Listen more; talk less.

There are two major components of effective communication and one of them is listening — yet it’s often overlooked as a management skill. Try active listening where you paraphrase and repeat back what the other person has just said. It not only gives them the opportunity to clarify if you’ve misunderstood something, but it also forces you to listen to them, instead of thinking about how you plan to respond.

Think about communications preferences.

You probably already know that some of us are visual learners and some auditory learners, but that extends well outside the classroom. Some employees will do just fine talking about complex issues, while others will prefer to have the conversation outlined in writing. If you can discover each employee’s preference, you can ensure you’re reaching out in a way they’ll understand.

Keep feedback constructive.

If employees feel constantly under attack or criticism, they may be reluctant to open the lines of communication for any reason. Practice offering constructive feedback paired with praise, and always remember to only criticise the act, never the person.

One final bonus tip: never stop practicing. You may think you’re a stellar communicator — until faced with an employee whose communication style is completely different from your own, or you find yourself in a stressful situation. Keep seeking out ways to learn, practice, and improve your communications skills to be one of the workforce’s beloved bosses, rather than one of the dreaded ones.

Business Trends In Practice | Bernard Marr
Business Trends In Practice | Bernard Marr

Related Articles

The 7 Levels Of Performance Management Maturity

What's the difference between companies that measure and manage performance well, and those that don't? Find out with this 7-level model of performance management maturity.[...]

How To Identify The Data Opportunities For Every Business | Bernard Marr

How To Identify The Data Opportunities For Every Business?

Every business leader knows they need to be working with data, but with so many potential efficiencies and exciting use cases, it can be difficult to know where to start[...]

How AI Wrote Brand New Songs By Amy Winehouse And Kurt Cobain | Bernard Marr

How AI Wrote Brand New Songs By Amy Winehouse And Kurt Cobain

An artificial intelligence algorithm helped audio engineers create “new” songs by artists like Amy Winehouse and Kurt Cobain to support mental health in the music industry[...]

The 8 Biggest Retail Trends Every Retailer Needs To Be Ready For | Bernard Marr

The 8 Biggest Retail Trends Every Retailer Needs To Be Ready For

Like every sector, retail is going through a transformation and must respond to the forces of the fourth industrial revolution and major societal shifts[...]

Essex Police: Creating A Strategic ‘Plan on a Page’ To Manage Performance

Essex Police is one of the United Kingdom's largest non-metropolitan [...]

The World’s Most Successful Leaders Share These 10 Traits

Here’s the conundrum: some of the most successful leaders in […]

Stay up-to-date

  • Get updates straight to your inbox
  • Join my 1 million newsletter subscribers
  • Never miss any new content

Social Media



View Podcasts