Open Communications in the Workplace are important as a common problem emerging within startups is the growth of two disconnected cultures in the same organization. Creating different values without realizing the repercussions can often lead to inter-departmental rivalry. In growing companies, departments like marketing, sales, and customer support function as entirely different businesses. When daily communication of ideas, goals, and deliveries crash, it ultimately affects productivity and stifles growth.
So whether you have a team distributed across different time zones, or located under one roof, creating a culture of open communications in the workplace builds cohesion. A two-way channel of open communications in the workplace creates a place for team members to both give and receive feedback positively.
To foster a warm culture of open and trusted communication, implement these strategies into your organization, and build a workforce where employees are more connected to your goals and values:
Here are some guidelines to build a culture of open communications in the workplace:
To bring about a real change in the organization, the top management should set an example to communicate openly and honestly. Small mistakes founders make is not sharing adequate information across teams. A lack of confidence displayed towards employees can lead to distrust within the organization. Be discerning about sensitive information shared, but smart enough to include regular business updates.
As company leaders, take time to evaluate the current channels of communication within the business. Share meeting notes, customer feedback, targets for the year, fundraising, new hires, and the likes. Companies today even share salary structures and stock options with their employees. When you hire people, you aspire to find talent that is smart and ambitious enough to use this information wisely.
While you provide employees regular business updates, take your transparency a level higher by sharing OKRs. Objectives and key results (OKRs) align the team and drive focus on a set outcome. The goal to showcase an organization’s OKR is to help employees understand their role in the bigger picture of the firm’s growth.
Open Your Doors
An open-door policy is a great initiative to make the workspace more inviting to innovative feedback, ideas, and suggestions. As leaders of the business, invite team members from different departments to brainstorm about projects, ask questions, or chat about weekend plans. But more importantly, open your ears to be more mindful of their comments, complaints, and suggestions. Employees will feel as welcomed into an organization as you choose to make them feel. When ideas are heard, people make an effort to reach out to you and participate in the company’s growth journey.
Your team has tremendous insight into the day-to-day working of your business. The best way to harness their ideas is to ask questions and listen to what they share. As a leader, multitasking is your forte but during meetings, stop to listen to their invaluable concerns. Their genuine feedback acts as a tool to recognize challenges within the business. Through direct face-to-face communication with the team, you are encouraging a constructive communication channel.
As a person in power, you may not be able to incorporate all the feedback or ideas shared by the team. However, it is the gesture of appreciation that makes all the difference in a culture of open communications in the workplace. Let your employees know that both them and their ideas are values and will be turned into action in due course.
Lead By Example
To encourage your team to be more vocal about their comments and suggestions, start by being more open about your thoughts with them. Share openly and honestly during team meetings without being overly dominating. Invite new hires to vocalize their experience in the organization while providing constructive thoughts to their comments.
Part of leading by example is also accepting your own mistakes when you’ve fallen short on a commitment and taken accountability for the same. Explain the situation honestly and take key learnings from how the situation can be reversed. A step towards openly communicating mistakes encourages employees to be less deceitful during their own missteps.
How is work going? Do you need support on the project? These small questions demonstrate genuine concern to understand an employee’s role in the organization. Open communications in the workplace within a business is a vehicle that provides instant valuable insights across departments. While also boosting team productivity, loyalty, and an engaging work environment for all.
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