Human Resources

Employees Are Talking … Are You Listening?

By Denise Blasevick

Communication is the cornerstone of a successful culture. In today’s Advisor, Denise Blasevick, founding partner and CEO of the S3 Agency, provides tips for fostering a culture of open communication among your staff.

Employees are talking at your workplace. The question is: Are they communicating in a constructive manner to the parties that can effect change, and are they finding a way to be part of that change? Or are they grousing and gossiping because they feel there is no other way to express themselves? For companies with employees in the latter group, ignorance is not bliss. In fact, it can lead to significant loss of staff, sales, brand reputation, growth opportunities, and more.

A culture of healthy, open communication doesn’t happen by accident; it must be designed right into the architecture of the business. The good news? It’s really not that difficult to implement, but it does require commitment and consistency.

Here are five ways to foster a culture of open communication with your staff:

  1. Be “unbrutally” honest. Open communication requires honesty—but nothing requires brutality. Ensure that all corporate communications uphold the highest levels of respect and that employees know this is expected of them as well. Should employees communicate otherwise, remind them that their feedback is important, but it must be respectfully submitted.
  2. Check in weekly. A weekly, one-question survey designed to provide anonymous feedback can help managers stay in touch with what their teams are thinking. There are inexpensive systems that can be used to e-mail the entire staff with a new question each week—and provide management with the compiled feedback for review.

 

In tomorrow’s Advisor, Blasevick presents the final three ways to foster a culture of open communication with your staff.