Today’s pearls of wisdom about employee communication come from Peter Economy (not kidding) of Inc.com from his article 5 Ways to Get Your Employees to Speak Up. Business is best served, meaning profit-wise, if the work environment is conducive to sharing thoughts and ideas. It is not rocket science, but the plethora of articles and blogs on the value of good communication seem to indicate that there are more managers who just don’t seem to get it. Mr. Economy’s rules:
- Make it safe to communicate. Roughly translated – don’t make your employees feel like idiots when stating their ideas. Quite possibly, they may have a good point.
- Create new approaches to communication. This does not mean instituting new codes or introducing the concept of sign language. Rather, establish new forums where employees can be made to feel comfortable speaking up. Ever hear of a Town Hall Meeting?
- Encourage and reward honest and open dialogue. Money is not necessary. Sometimes just a heartfelt “thank you for thinking of the company” will do perfectly fine.
- Criticize constructively, not destructively. See my point in rule #1. Teach. Don’t destroy.
- Build team communication. Chances are that if you work hard on rules 1-4 then this will follow.
It’s possible that certain managers and business owners don’t want feedback. That’s not ideal, but at least don’t ask for feedback and encourage open communication if you really don’t mean it. Happy communicating!