In order to lead a successful organization you must create an environment that fosters trust and open communication. Open communication helps employees feel comfortable asking questions and expressing their concerns. Not only does this encourage trust and teamwork, but it motivates employees to strengthen their performance in the workplace. Most organizations agree that open communication is important, but do they really go above and beyond to make their employees feel comfortable about asking questions? The fact is many professionals feel hesitant about asking questions and expressing concerns at work. The following ideas will help managers create an environment where employees feel comfortable speaking up.
Ask Employees For Their Input
One of the most valuable things a manager can do is to ask team members for their input. This communicates that their employees’ ideas are valuable and they genuinely want to hear from them. It also empowers employees and makes them feel confident that their opinion matters to their superiors.
Engage In Active Listening
It’s not enough just to ask employees for their input. Managers need to show that they are listening by responding to what their employees have said. Acknowledging their input and providing feedback is respectful to the employees and will make them feel more inclined to share their thoughts in the future.
Schedule Small Meetings With Your Team
Take time to meet with team members regularly. These can be individual meetings or team meetings in which managers take time to answer questions, address concerns, or provide feedback. Employees will feel more comfortable asking questions in a smaller setting rather than in front of a large group. They will also appreciate their manager’s willingness to take the time to listen to them.
Praise Employees For Speaking Up
Good communication equals good business. If an employee is reaching out and asking questions they obviously care about their job and want to get it right. Instead of dismissing their questions or making them feel incompetent, let them know you appreciate their willingness to speak up.
Get To Know Your Employees
Take the time to get to know your employees aside from their role in the workplace. Ask them about their family or how their vacation went. Showing an interest in your employees communicates that you value them as a person. Employees who feel valued will feel more comfortable being honest and asking questions.
Open communication in the workplace makes employees feel comfortable expressing their opinions and asking questions. In turn, this will lead to a better understanding of the business and greater success for the company. When employees feel welcome to ask questions, they tend to be happier and more motivated at work. Creating an environment that welcomes questions and feedback will lead to less stress, greater job satisfaction, team building, and mutual respect in the workplace.