Communication is the key to success - a famous saying. In an organization, communication is the key to its success. Having a good communication system inside a company is the best way to understand your team’s expectations and what is expected of them as well.
A team without good communication can have a lot of problems, lack of trust, and also misunderstandings between the managers and the employees. This, in turn, could cause another set of problems like absenteeism, lower productivity rates, and poor customer satisfaction levels.
Is there no way to improve communication inside the company? Actually, there is. But the problem will be the increase in cost and the resources you would need but which pays off in terms of higher productivity and customer satisfaction. Here are some cost-effective steps,
One-on-ones have helped in opening up the communication channel in a lot of manager-employee relationships.
Schedule regular one-on-one with your team to ensure your team that you are listening. Have sessions like ‘open door’, where anyone can walk into your room to have a quick conversation without having the need to schedule a meeting.
In reality, there might be occasions where the meetings might not happen, but letting them know well beforehand increases the trust. Allowing or creating a situation where the other doesn’t feel valued is a disadvantage on the longrun.
All hands meeting - Major companies are already following this meeting routine on a monthly basis. What they fail to notice is that these meetings are also a potential tool of communication. In a AHM meeting, the host always starts off with company updates which are used to talk about people working on projects and building conversations with them or making them feel appreciated. Keep everyone in the company updated about the company’s progress.
Fix the agenda and let the team know about a Q&A session at the end of the meeting. Let the employees voice their doubts.
Weekly team outings:
Talking to the team outside the office eases the communication gap. When employees start getting comfortable with the team outside the office, they become more relaxed. That is a good opportunity to get along with the team.
Take time and put in efforts to constantly keep the team engaged and provide a better experience. Talk about common interests, go out to play, catch a movie too with the team and have these days to get to know each other on a personal level.
Voice out - listen better:
Communication is not one-sided. Both the side have to communicate. Asking for feedback on your ideas, allowing them to voice out their questions and showing them that you actually are open to listening.
Managers have some opinions to be shared as well. When the managers ask the employees to do the certain task, explain why they have to do that. Imagine explaining to a salesperson about the importance of closing a certain deal and how big it is. They will feel more motivated and informed to work on the job.
Feedback is very important ways to communicate with your team. Gathering feedback from the employee on certain topics to understand their idea over the topic can help in iterating the process followed. Here is how you can structure your feedback system:
Construct you feedback based on contextual points and not mere judgments. Build the feedback questions in a way that you will receive actual inputs which can help you better the employee experience.
The chance to respond to the feedback has to be provided to all employees. Take time to gather and listen to those feedbacks.
Allow anonymity: Certain questions might need the option to answer anonymously. In such cases, allow the employees to answer anonymously.
A challenge you may face in this is receiving the same feedback over a period of time. Work on your questions and refine the way questions are delivered to the employees. Avoid asking questions that could result in one-word answers.
Don’t rely on IMs:
Instant messaging is not a tool to discuss employee problems and engagements. Communication done in person is the best way to initiate engagement. If employees are working remotely, it makes sense to communicate over IM, even then meeting them on monthly basis to sustain the connection will show that you care about the employee experience and engagement.
Silence - a lock that can be opened using face-to-face meeting. As a human, we have the ability to read emotion like excitement, happiness, stress, disappointment, disinterest, etc. Over messages, it is hard to read all those emotions or one can even fake it.
Start building trust that an employee would look for from the management. It is wise to have one (or more than one in a few cases) trustworthy person. This person should build and maintain a personality that is easily approachable by the employees who they open up to as well.
Allow the opportunity to be anonymously open about their feedback. Thought this doesn’t come under building trust but giving the idea that their answers are not tracked giving them complete anonymity will actually help the employees to be open.
Is that all? No, in fact, a lot of ways and with the growing tech, there are tools that help in improving communication. These employee engagement tools will help the managers understand and listen better to the employees.
This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at https://www.understandbetter.co/blog/how-to-connect-with-your-employees/