Maintaining open communication with your employees encourages them to share their ideas to improve the organization. Open communication also notifies you of problems, conflicts, questions, and concerns that must be resolved.
Encouraging open communication with your team promotes engagement, productivity, and collaboration. It also elevates job satisfaction, employee morale, and retention.
Implement these five tips to maintain open communication with your team.
1. Focus on the End Goal
Maintaining open communication with your team lets you know about problems as they arise. This helps you resolve the issues and minimize their impact.
Open communication makes you aware of ideas to improve your team. This may include increasing efficiency in workflows.
Openly communicating with your team helps improve your leadership skills. You can learn your employees’ strengths, talents, motivations, and goals. Then, you can use this information to increase your team’s engagement, productivity, and collaboration. This elevates job satisfaction, team morale, and employee retention.
2. Be Present
Stay in the moment when communicating with your team. Actively listening to your employees encourages them to talk about their ideas, issues, questions, and concerns.
Look at the employee who is speaking with you. Show they have your complete attention.
Nod, gesture, and use facial expressions throughout the conversation. Include responses such as “yes” and “uh huh” to show you are listening. Ask follow-up questions to gather more information.
Paraphrase what you are hearing to ensure you understand it correctly. You may want to say, “What I am hearing is…” or “Am I correct in thinking…”.
Wait until your employee is done speaking. Then, respond appropriately.
3. Encourage Team and Individual Communication
Although communicating with your entire team is important, there may be times when your employees prefer to talk with you one-on-one. They may feel more comfortable privately discussing a personal matter than sharing the details with the team.
Encourage your team to request individual discussions when needed. They may want to share an opinion that differs from the team’s opinions on how to proceed with a project. Or, there may be a family issue that could affect your employee’s work performance.
Show empathy and support during these private discussions. Work with your employee to resolve the issue however you can.
4. Acknowledge Employee Accomplishments
Give your team credit for their work. This includes when an employee’s idea is successfully implemented or a finished project attains the desired results.
Openly acknowledging your employees’ contributions and impact on the organization shows they are valuable members of your team. This promotes feelings of trust and respect. It also increases team collaboration and cohesion.
5. Request Constructive Feedback
Ask your team for input on your performance. Include what you are doing well and specific ways you can improve.
Talk more in-depth about the answers you need clarification on. The greater your understanding of an issue, the more effectively you can resolve it.
Implement the feedback you feel would be most beneficial. Regularly follow up with your team to discuss your progress.
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