How to Create an Environment of Open Communication in the Workplace

Open communication offers extraordinary benefits to the workplaces that practice it consistently.  When communication is open and straightforward, employees do better work.  They experience less stress, because they understand what needs to happen and where to find the resources to complete the task.  And they are more likely to speak up if they see a potential problem, allowing the company to address small issues before they become big ones.

Here’s how to foster open communication in your workplace:

Become Issue-Focused

Open communication is easier when everyone involved understands the goal is to state the problem and solve it – not to vent feelings or place blame.  Model the communication you want from your employees by focusing on issues.

This method is essential for good conflict resolution between employees, but it also helps encourage employees to communicate more openly.  Your staff are more likely to ask questions or report problems when they know your focus on will be on how to help them find the solution, rather than on their ignorance or confusion.

Listen, Then Rephrase

It’s easy to jump directly to answering a question or expressing your frustration when an employee comes to you with a problem – but it’s also the easiest way to make employees feel as if they aren’t being heard, which makes them less likely to speak up in the future.

Instead, make your first priority to listen carefully to an employee’s comments; then rephrase them.  Using the model “Are you saying ____?” demonstrates you are attempting to understand, while creating a judgment-free opening for the employee to clarify or explain if you have missed something.

Always Follow Through

If you are asked for help, follow through by providing it.  If you set consequences for an employee’s failure to meet a specific responsibility, follow through by imposing those consequences if the employee does not make the specific changes you set out for them.  If you encourage employees to reach a seemingly impossible goal and they do it, follow through by rewarding them.  Following through demonstrates that you can be trusted, which makes it easier for employees to rely on you – and to communicate.

At Marquee Staffing, our recruiters do more than just match talent to our clients’ specific cultures and goals.  We also provide ways to improve your company culture in order to attract the best SoCal talent available.  Contact our office today to learn more about our recruiting services in Orange County and beyond.