Creating an environment dedicated to open and honest communication is a very difficult task, especially if you're approaching it as a leader outside of the office's circle of tight-knit employees.
But while creating a safe office environment is challenging for any leader, it can be accomplished with intention, thought, and planning. The results will be very well worth your effort. Read up on 5 ways how.
1. Lead by example
Use your own actions as the easiest way to show others the kind of behavior you want to promote in the workplace. Model the kind of open, transparent communication you want to implement, and your employees will surely follow suit. When they feel able to ask whatever questions they want, or ask any questions they desire, troubleshooting problems becomes much, much easier.
2. Make new settings for communicating
Finding novel places or events where people meet is a great way to communicate throughout your organization. Put on an employee talent show, put on company game nights, or even host a potluck at the office after work one day. People might be more inclined to join than not.
3. Reward honest dialogue
When people do follow suit, and pursue the kind of communication you're looking for, make sure you reward such behavior properly. Offer praise, or more professional responsibility--whatever will act as a push for others to adopt the same kind of conversation.
4. Encourage teamwork
Even though competition is natural, and occurs across all industries and settings, there's something to be said for fostering a space where employees feel they have deep, authentic relationships with one another. Organize teams by project sometimes, rather than departments, or pair people to work together who normally don't interact when the opportunity presents itself. The teamwork will follow.
5. Show how to offer honest feedback
While everyone's not the biggest fan of constructive criticism, there's something to be said about how honest we are when offering feedback. Showing your employees how to properly express their opinion without being rude is a skill not easily learned. If you begin by taking the task on yourself, you're sure to promote the same kind of behavior.