Employees are the backbone of any business, and they should be valued as such. A key step in this direction is to build a culture that not only values employees but enables them to give their maximum while enjoying their work.
You can do this by building a culture that stresses upon the open-door policy. If you are one of those bosses who rarely keeps in touch with his employees, the sad news is you are headed in the wrong direction.
With employees readily demanding a more open workplace culture, you need to be as interactive as possible. Of course, as a leader, it is your responsibility to ensure that your team is not hesitating in speaking to you about their problems.
If a team operates in a nurturing environment, it has net positive effect on the company. Not only will the employees enjoy their time working at the office but their productivity will also increase.
The company can benefit from higher employee productivity as it leads to greater efficiency. Moreover, with greater efficiency, a company can explore more opportunities for growth.
You should make sure that the employees that put their blood and sweat into making the company a success are rightfully compensated.
If you wish to see a more open work culture in your organization but are uncertain about the ways to go about it, this article is for you.
Before we get into it, you should know that one of the qualities of a true leader is that they make everyone feel important. As a leader, it is your responsibility to ensure that each member of your team feels like their presence matters.
If you are running a team of highly-talented individuals, who are not performing up to the mark, you should realize that something must be wrong at your end. If the employees are not used to speaking up, you are going to face a hard time understanding what their problems are.
Alternatively, if they find you to be approachable, they are more likely to share their problems with you.
With that said, here are a few tips to encourage your employees to speak up:
The first thing you need to do is arrange regular meetings where everyone on the team should be encouraged to give their opinion on certain matters.
For a tech company, this would involve discussing a product or service that can make a difference. If everyone speaks up, the discussion can get deeper, and you might be able to benefit from every member’s response.
Moreover, as more and more people begin to feel like their opinions are welcome and listened to, they would feel encouraged to voice their thoughts in the next meeting.
People often make mistakes, but not learning from those mistakes is the greatest mistake of them all. Fear of judgment holds people back from voicing their opinions honestly.
However, if you encourage positivity in the workplace, your employees will start feeling comfortable sharing their thoughts on any matter. Once they are comfortable stating their beliefs and preferences, you will be able to see things from the employees’ perspective.
Therefore, ensure that the employees know that their opinions are listened to, without fear of recriminations. Not only will this encourage them to speak up, but it will also help you develop a proper understanding of issues.
When people start interacting with you, make sure they know that you have set certain hard boundaries that you want respected.
If there are members belonging to diverse backgrounds in your team, you should let the individuals know that they have to respect certain sensitivities.
Moreover, communication between everyone should also be cordial and respectful without an iota of racism or hate. If you clearly impress this upon your team, people will be more comfortable interacting with each other and their bosses.
Similarly, ensuring good communication will ensure a good office culture where people co-exist in harmony with one another.
Another key to ensuring that employees get a chance to speak up is to let them know that they can offer feedback.
As the team leader, you should regularly seek feedback from your employees on various matters. Feedback can encompass company’s products or services or the office culture.
If your employees are uncomfortable about sharing critical feedback, which shouldn’t be the case in the first place, you can let them offer their feedback anonymously.
It is an easy way to help your employees file complaints and talk about issues in an open manner. Once you start addressing those issues, employees will gradually feel comfortable coming to you directly for the resolution of their problems.
- Set up an anti-harassment committee:
You want all your employees to feel safe in the office. One of the hallmarks of a positive work environment is that everyone knows the company can protect them against harassment.
You can take certain measures in this regard. Firstly, you can let everyone know that there is a zero-tolerance policy against harassment.
Secondly, you can set up a committee to deal with harassment cases. The committee should be impartial, so that those who take the brave step of reporting it to the company can feel secure and be assured of justice.
You need to ensure that there is no victim-blaming when it comes to such cases, so that employees can confidently speak up if they have been wronged.
There are many ways you can encourage your employees to speak up. They include setting up workplace committees, particularly those mandated to deal with different issues, and incentivizing those who come up with out-of-the-box solutions in project meetings. These steps can help you not only engage your employees but also create a positive office culture, which will greatly benefit the company. As mentioned above, positive work culture can improve the company’s performance, and leads to a win-win situation for the employer and the employees.