A great company lives and dies by quality communication.
Below are some tips for building an open culture of communication where you work.
Communicate In A Meaningful Way
A lot of employees are used to being told what to do without much explanation as to why. In certain emergency situations, this may be necessary, but most of the time this leaves your employees confused and possibly hurt.
Always be sure to make an effort to communicate clearly with your employees. Explain the problem you’re trying to solve, how the task will help solve that problem, why you’re asking them to complete the task, and what to do if they run into problems.
Help them see how the task relates to the overall well-being of the company so they can see beyond the task and understand the heart of the problem you’re trying to solve.
Ask For Their Input And Reward Great Ideas
It doesn’t matter if you’re the CEO, team lead, or the front desk employee, nobody can see and understand every aspect of every job and work process perfectly. No matter who you are, you need to constantly seek out the input from others to better understand what problems people are dealing with at work and how to best fix them.
Make it clear you’re looking for problems to solve so the other employees don’t feel the need to fib and say everything is ok.
If someone comes up with a great idea or reveals a serious flaw in your current workflow, make sure to reward them to encourage both that employee and others to come to you with their ideas as well. It doesn’t necessarily have to be a bonus, but it could be something as simple as a gift card or a semi-public shout out to a higher up so they know that you’re talking to others about them in a positive way.
Add Interviews To The Calendar
Make giving and receiving feedback a regular occurrence. It doesn’t matter so much how often you have interviews with employees and coworkers as much as you do it regularly and they know that they’ll happen.
A one-in-done airing of grievances might be good for fixing some problems, which, in turn, will build some trust and open up some lines of communication, but regular conversations will build that trust a lot faster.
Act On What You’re Told
When employees come to you with a problem that needs to be fixed or a possible solution, it’s because they trust that you’ll listen to them. The best way to keep that trust is by finding a solution to their problem and following up afterward so they know the status of the situation.
A simple status update will do more to earn their trust than a thousand meetings that produce no meaningful change ever will.
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