Maintaining an open line of communication with your employees is a vital factor in operating a productive and prosperous business venture. There are several benefits toward keeping an open line of communication such as the cultivation of a positive workplace atmosphere, employee retention, and employee job satisfaction. Not every business owner and management team has perfected the art of communication. However, those in management who strive to make the effort to promote positive communication with their employees will manage a successful team. This article will address five ways employers and those in management can keep a line of communication open with their employees.
1. Implement a Policy
The first way to ensure that you maintain an open line of communication with your employees is to implement an actual policy. You must make a point to decide to communicate openly and effectively with your employees. Ensure that your entire management team understands and accepts this policy, and implements it into each department. If this is a new policy that you are implementing, be sure that you schedule a staff meeting to clarify the details with your employees and management team. All new employees should be informed of this Open Door Policy during their initial orientation after hiring. Simply having a policy won’t make this process work. It must be implemented in all areas of the company and all managers must be on board with welcoming employees’ comments, suggestions and questions.
2. Keep it Confidential
While implementing an effective policy into your workplace, it is important to make certain employees know their communication with management is confidential. For example, there are several instances where employees need to know they can come to the management team and share confidential issues. Some of those issues deal with asking the HR manager for a personal day, discussing insurance benefits, and handling job performance matters. For this process to be successful, your employees need to know that they can trust you and all of your managers that their communications remain confidential and don’t become company gossip. As this policy is enacted and utilized by employees and managers, trust will continue to build. If this trust is broken, it is important to quickly work to do damage control and fix the issue, and try to repair the relationships in the workplace. Attention to these details will continue to build a strong and productive team.
3. Communicate with Employees
Business owners will work with their management team to create an effective communication policy. However, for this policy to be utilized to its maximum impact in the workplace, it is vital to communicate with employees and get their input. For example, take the time to periodically review the process. Ask employees to complete surveys to ascertain their opinions on the effectiveness—or lack thereof—of the actual policy. Find out what your employees think about the current policy and whether or not they have any effective suggestions to offer. Managers who pay attention to what is important to employees will continue to cultivate productive professional relationships with their staff. In doing that effectively in the workplace, they will create a positive “win-win” situation for everyone.
4. Utilize Technology to Get Connected
Ascertain the preferred method of communication and implement those methods in the office. For example, maybe the majority of employees prefer to speak in person with managers. Email may be the preferred method for the majority of communication in your office. The point is to use the methods that work best for your specific workplace. Be open to suggestions for new methods of communication and listen to your employees.
5. Be Honest with Everyone
The final way to keep the lines of communication open with your employees is to be honest in everything that you say and do in the office. Your employees are watching your every move and many are looking for the moment when you go back on your word. Make a promise to yourself, your management team and your employees that you will do everything in your power to effectively communicate each day. This communication process pertains to all situations, whether sharing good or bad news.
Communicating effectively with your employees takes work and diligence to see it through. However, if you and your management team follow the five ways as outlined in this article, you will be able to keep those communication lines open. What have you done in your workplace to keep communication lines open with your employees?