BlogsThe Importance of Keeping Communication Lines Open
September 19, 2017, by John Welches
Open communication is one of the most important aspects of cultivating a positive employee culture. When employees feel comfortable letting their voices be heard and management is willing to listen and adapt, progressive changes can take place throughout the company and everyone is more at ease.
Some employers look at this subject and fear opening the proverbial can of worms by encouraging more communication with employees. If that’s how you feel, then communication is probably not functioning smoothly within your company, and you may want to rethink your approach as management.
A successful company culture should revolve around the notion that people can discuss ideas openly, across levels of management, and across different departments. If everyone is working together to create a better company, communication will improve and so will the overall culture. When the communication is open and culture is positive, the result should be a more successful company.
Open Communication Strategies
Sit down with employees regularly and discuss what is and what is not working. Get their feedback. Listen to their ideas. Understand their criticisms. Let them know that they can speak freely to management and other departments without fear or repercussion, so long as the communication is done in a constructive way.
You might even consider providing an anonymous suggestion box to let every employee’s voice be heard without confrontation. Company politics are a big factor as to why 35 percent of employees quit. No matter how much you encourage it, there will always be people who are not comfortable speaking out face-to-face for various reasons. Give everyone an opportunity to provide feedback.
Constructive Criticism vs. Complaining
Yes, there is a difference. Some people just like to complain, and there will be employees in just about any company who fit that description. It’s important for the management to recognize the distinction between those who complain and those who offer constructive criticism.
All feedback needs to be listened to so that employees feel like their opinions are valued. However, you need to distinguish between employees who are trying to help the company and those who are trying to stir up trouble. This is not always easy to do. If the constructive criticism is valid, apply it toward policy changes. But complainers may just provoke negative energy, and can be a major threat to your company culture; they should be identified and then retrained or replaced as needed.
The Power of Communication
When you improve the quality and quantity of your communication with employees, a stronger company culture will be the result. At Centennial, clear communication is what drives our success, which is why we encourage transparency in our interactions. We understand that benefits planning requires customization—what works for one company may not work for another. That is why we keep our lines of communication open. We listen to your needs and seek to understand your goals. Then, we can help put the right benefits plan and support package together to achieve your overall employee benefits objectives.