Open communication is important in any type of relationship, including with those who work for you and with you. It helps you find ways to get people to work harder and faster and can help you identify problems as they happen. Talking to those you work with daily makes everyone more comfortable, which can encourage the sharing of new ideas and lead to lower turnover rates and less absenteeism. With just a few simple changes, you can create a culture of open, two-way communication.
Set Aside Time for Open Meetings
Hold regular meetings to let employees know what’s going on with the company. Use the time to answer questions, share input, and address concerns. You can also make the meetings more enjoyable by serving doughnuts and coffee or by catering a lunch. Allow plenty of time at the end for a Q and A session so everyone leaves the meeting in-the-know. Also, consider candour when addressing employee issues. Provide honest feedback, but always stay professional when giving hard messages like information on layoffs or reduced hours.
Always keep your conversations positive. Motivate employees by pointing out a job well done. Publicly give praise in a newsletter or at company meetings. Focus on what has been done well rather than what not to do or something that was not done right. Positivity makes your employees want to join in on projects and goals instead of isolating people.
Connect With Remote Workers
According to a sturdy by Regus Canada in 2017, nearly 47% of Canadian employees worked remotely for at least half of the week. Stay connected to these team members by scheduling frequent videoconferencing meetings. Apps like Skype and RingCentral are available for smartphones or tablets, so you can recreate the water cooler even when travelling.
Take Time During the Day
Daily chats build relationships. Whether you are standing in the food line in the cafeteria or are waiting on the elevator, ask employees if they have any questions about current projects. Inquire about their family. Joke about the weather, or simply ask how their day is going. Casual chit chat lets people know you care and makes you more approachable. If an employee knows he can come to you with small issues, he is more likely to come to you when a biggie issue arises.
Establish an Anonymous Suggestion Box
Create a system where employees can complain or provide feedback and speak their minds. Be sure to act on suggestions immediately to let individuals know they have been heard. Hand out anonymous surveys to assess your employees’ overall happiness, then prepare to provide feedback. This type of open communication builds trust and makes employees care more about their work. You can even hold a quick meeting to ask for suggestions.
Open communication is one of the best ways to encourage your employees to perform well. It helps you identify strengths and weaknesses in your organization, and it makes it easier to fix any problems before they get serious enough to cause major problems.