Leadership Comms

Top Leadership Communication Trends for 2023

5 min read
Lynsey May Sutherland
Lynsey Sutherland

We all know how to communicate, but your skills need to be next level if you’re a leader. Being able to inspire, share values, describe your company culture and motivate your entire team is a big ask – it’s also totally achievable if you’re willing to actively improve your abilities. 

Stay updated with the latest leadership trends as we dive into the communication styles likely to make a difference in 2023.  

What is leadership communication?  

Leadership communication is all about how you relay information about the company to build trust and encourage employees. Expectations are high, and your words carry a lot of weight. 

While leadership communication can cover almost everything you say (or fail to say!) in the workplace, there are three major strands:

  • The way that you share your vision and goals for your organisation with the entire team
  • How you communicate business-critical information to your upper management
  • Your methods of socialising with and chatting with your employees

Each is hugely important in building a team that can work in harmony towards a common goal, and even if you think you have a strong communication strategy, it’s still worth assessing your efforts. After all, Forbes reports that leaders aren’t always as transparent as they believe and that 71% of employees feel insufficient time is spent explaining goals. 

Why is leadership communication important at work?

Effective communication can transform your workplace, and as with many best practice habits, it’s one that’s best led from the top. It’s very difficult to be a good leader without good communication skills. 

  • Good communication improves employee engagement. If leaders are open and honest about what’s happening, employees will trust leaders and the organisation. 
  • Clear communication can help align employees with strategic goals because if they don’t know what they are or don’t understand them, they won’t be able to help deliver better business outcomes. 
  • If leadership communication is effective, communication throughout the workplace will also improve. 
  • By improving leadership communication skills, your organisation will also be upskilling managers in various ways. 

The cost of poor leadership communication 

On the flip side, if your communication style isn’t hitting the mark, it can leave employees feeling alienated, disengaged or even unsure about what your organisation stands for. 

There’s also the high cost of resolving problems caused by misunderstanding, which can result in wasted efforts and working hours. Grammarly carried out a study that found 75% of business leaders say they spend too much time and energy resolving miscommunications and estimate that they’re losing the equivalent of a whole working day each week to poor communication.

Leadership communication trends to embrace for 2023

Ready to tap into the power of clear leadership communication? These trends have the potential to make sure your messaging is on point, and your skills are up to date. 

1. Equitable in efforts in communication

As a leader, you have a lot on your plate, and the need to get through it all can sometimes negatively impact communication. The most common problem is a tendency to prioritise communication with upper management. This makes sense in the short term as they are likely to be the people you’re working closely with, but it can have a detrimental effect overall. 

It’s hard for employees to buy into a company’s vision or goals when they feel they aren’t important enough to be directly communicated with. 

Setting aside even a small amount of time every day or every week to check in with other team members can have a significant impact. Also, even new team members could grow into some of your most valued employees – so you can think of this as a long-term investment. 

2. Active listening to forge connections

You need to know how to speak well to be a great disruptive leader, but communication is also about knowing how to listen. Active listening is the act of really engaging in what is being said, as opposed to passive listening where you might receive information without necessarily processing it. 

Using feedback phrases like ‘I understand’ or ‘tell me more’ can be useful in improving active listening. So can putting the things you’ve been told into your own words, then checking if that’s what the other person intended to communicate. 

Working on active listening can make you a more empathetic leader, which has some great benefits of its own, and it can help you get over any nervousness you have about engaging with your team. And yes, we know that’s surprisingly common! The Harvard Business Review reports that two thirds of managers are uncomfortable about communicating with employees. 

3. Adapt to changing channels

A big challenge for leaders in the current workforce is managing hybrid and remote teams. Now that we have seen the resilience and flexibility of hybrid offices and working remotely, it’s time to implement strategies to ensure it’s a robust model for the future. 

Communicating successfully with a hybrid or remote team means looking at opening up different channels of communication. Where you might’ve once planned to grab someone for a quick catch-up by the coffee machine, you now need to schedule in time to chat, and, naturally, there will be some drop-off there. 

To compensate for this, investing in communication tools that work well for your employees is a good idea. That might be introducing new software like Teams or Slack, or you might find your team loves check-ins over mobile phone messaging services (if you try the last one, be sure you’re using a work phone or keeping your communications to working hours to keep that all-important work-life balance!). 

4. Using software to maximise efforts

There are sure to be a million and one things vying for your attention, and it’s understandable that communication can take a hit among various time-sensitive things. Luckily, a lot of software out there can help you make sure that even small contributions are meaningful. 

For example, when you use our employee rewards and recognition platform, you can quickly and easily send messages of encouragement, recognise achievements, or even bring up issues or areas for improvement. 

The straightforward and friendly format means you can make a big impact with minimal time out of your day – letting you improve communication in a matter of moments!

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Mo is an employee recognition and engagement platform that can help leaders improve collaboration and morale, reduce employee churn and drive change. 

Our platform creates a vibrant culture by developing team habits, encouraging people to celebrate success, recognise results and appreciate colleagues.

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