Unanswered questions are corporate enemy number one
Two key questions come to mind: What do I need and what do I need to know in order to do my job? Yes, Mr leader-manager that would be your employees whom you leave hanging when you or your key leaders fail to communicate sufficiently. Oh, you think this ought to be perfectly clear since everybody (hopefully) has a job description. Think again. Typically job descriptions do not list the authority that any given employee has. Also, neither job description, nor employee handbook cover pieces of information that I would label as tribal knowledge (aka corporate culture). Or are seemingly inane details covered such as who orders ordering paper clips or coffee when they are out?
There is of course an antidote to this costly issue. For one you should allow time for regular one-on-one time with each of your direct reports. Make sure you make it their time not yours when you spend quality time with them. Have regular department meetings. On the agenda: One part of general information where you, the department and the company are header and the other part could be about the status of this year’s goals and how it affects the team members. Last but not least think about having a weekly state of the company meeting. 15 minutes standing up and with everybody. This works well with up to 80 people assuming you have a public space big enough. Topics can be open book financial report, success / challenge report outs, sales/engineering/customer support report out, ……. insert your own ideas here.
How can you up your game? That is simpler than you may think. Ponder what questions your folks should be asking. Prepare some answers before you meet with your team members. Good luck!