In order to have a workplace that is united and focused, you have to be able to successfully open the lines of communication with your staff members. Your employees must be able to speak up about what they feel, what they want and what they think. While there may be communication templates that you can opt for especially if you are not used to being open with your employees, here are some of the most effective ways you can build a workforce composed of motivated and engaged employees who are not afraid to communicate with you:
1. Make sure that lines of communication are safe.
When employees feel safe and valued, they are more likely to open up and communicate with management. Make sure that your staff members feel that speaking up regarding concerns and issues will not result in reprimand. When your workers know that they can freely consult and talk with you about their queries and mistakes, no matter how minor or trivial they may seem, they will do so without thinking that you will judge or punish them. Open lines of communication will then result in problems and issues being resolved much more easily and quickly.
Create an open door policy wherein employees can approach you at almost any time regarding their issues and concerns. This won’t only open the lines of communication between yourself and your workforce, it will also build trust.
2. Aside from encouraging open communication, reward it.
In order to find success, communication templates and strategies are simply not enough without open lines of communication. Aside from encouraging your employees to be more open with you, actually reward them should they be brave enough to communicate. Reward can take on different forms. The reward you give your employees can be as simple as a “thank you” or an appreciative note, to as big as a promotion or a cash reward.
3. Learn how to criticize in a constructive manner.
Honesty is, of course, always crucial when communicating in the workplace. However, make sure that you criticize and give comments in constructive manner. Be open to your employees and allow them to be open with you. Be an active listener in as much as you are active talker. This does not mean that either of you will always adopt what the other is saying; but listening will motivate staff members to constantly work harder and to improve.
4. Be aware of your body language.
In as much as communication templates and verbal communication are important, so is nonverbal language. Whether you are aware of it or not, you communicate with others through your body as much as you do with your mouth. Pay particular attention to the gestures you make and the messages they relay.
5. Encourage team communication.
A lot of workers may not know each other or have very strong relationships because they belong to different departments within the company. Instead of just going through the daily routine of having people of the same department work together, try organizing different staff members by project. This minimizes the “us-versus-them” mentality and helps build a stronger team view. When projects begin, kick things off with team-building exercises and allowing employees to build relationships and bonds even before the project starts.
6. Develop new communication templates and approaches.
New approaches and templates will allow your staff members to find new ways of communicating with you and with each other. Try pitching an employee talent show, create company-wide Olympic games, or create brainstorming groups composed of different staff members from different departments to come up with new offerings. Not only will this help break old habits which may not be deterring communication, these activities can also build new bridges within the organization.