Open and honest communication with employees is the building block for a successful organisation and for positive employee engagement. Having open conversations enable employees to be heard, encouraged, and work cooperatively, leading to an increase in productivity.
However, having open communication with employees isn’t something that happens organically, it’s an art that needs to be worked on and nourished by a manager.
These tips are made to create an environment for open communication. In the following sections, think how you would implement these tips in your company. This is especially important if you have witnessed signs that employees are holding back from receiving or giving feedback.
1. Safe environment and purpose of the conversation.
First, think about the purpose of your conversation. What do you want to accomplish with the conversation? Is it change? Or maybe feedback? A super-detailed strategy plan? After you have understood the ‘Why?’, it is time to think about the delivery.
Can you share the topic of the conversation publicly? Or is it better to schedule a private meeting? Oftentimes, a needed conversation can be forgotten between tasks and meetings. As a manager, you need to be prompt with giving feedback and deliver the message adequately.
Encourage employees to question ideas, to ask for clarifications, and be clear and honest with expectations. Talk in a safe environment where the employee feels comfortable to bring up issues or milestones.
Practice makes perfect, and building trust is not something that happens overnight. Instead, begin to schedule check-up meetings and speak with employees to provide instant feedback.
Remember, every employee wants to be individually recognised. This means, that their accomplishments and individual efforts need to be praised. To do this, managers need to create one-to-one channels of communication with employees to build trust.
2. Open, honest, two-way communication.
Have you heard of the saying ‘Teamwork, makes the dream work ’? Or ‘Two heads are better than one’? There is strength in the diversity of opinions, ideas and approaches.
Ask employees for their input, after all, they are subject matter experts. Remember, once an employee offers their ideas, it is your job as a manager to make sure their opinion is valued and appreciated. Hearing an employee’s voice builds trust, and boosts their confidence to bring new ideas and give constructive feedback, which will provide insights on their needs of self-development.
In order to have open and honest conversations, use two-way communication is key. Work on active listening, and ask questions to reach a goal. As a manager, put aside titles and opt into human communication and bonding. Having open conversations and constructive feedback, will allow you to become a better manager.
3.Share information publicly.
Reward curiosity! Make your work environment a place of growth. How? Encourage employees to share books, and ideas publicly so everyone can be part of the conversation. Build a company culture where shared information is valued. This will drive employees to become engaged and communicate openly, showing personality through their interaction and interests.
We all want to be part of a team, to have a group identity, and accomplish goals as a community. The secret ingredient to achieving this? Communication!
Are you struggling to give feedback to your remote workers? Check out our 5 tips for feedback to remote workers.
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