Communication starts from the top down
A strong manager’s ethic will radiate outwards to each individual member of staff. It will be evident in the quality of people’s work, their interactions and their dedication to their role. A good manager will encourage greater collaboration and provide a floor where people can discuss issues as well as ideas. They will exhibit open and approachable leadership traits.
If this isn’t the case, then it might be time for some managerial training.
Provide regular icebreaker activities
This is a great way to get everyone comfortable chatting on a less formal basis. The activities don’t need to be long-winded. They can be carried out before morning meetings or during a company lunch (also a great way to build relationships). Great icebreaker games include:
- Two truths one lie – get everyone to tell three stories. Others in the room must guess which two are factual and which story is a lie
- Jokes – ask everyone to tell their favourite joke. Phones are allowed.
- Personality quizzes – get everyone to do a quick online personality test and discuss the results
- Speed dating – mix up the teams and provide a quick speed networking session so that employees are talking to people they usually wouldn’t have the opportunity to do so
- Electric fence – tie string between two tables or chairs and ask each employee to make it over the ‘electric fence’ without touching it. A bit of silliness always brings people together
Provide a forum for feedback
Employees like to feel valued – like their ideas and feelings are heard. If this isn’t happening, then it breeds resentment and, in turn, low productivity. Feedback sessions can take place in the form of regular online surveys and meetings, or you might prefer to do an anonymous suggestion box.
Really listen to your staff
More often than not, a lack of communication happens because their feedback is falling on deaf ears or changes aren’t happening with your employees best interests in mind. Listening and implementing staff suggestions is an investment, because in the long run your employees will feel valued.