If all publicity is good publicity, it must mean that all communication is good communication, right? Unfortunately, neither of those things are true. Just like bad publicity can ruin a company, poor communication can tear it down from the inside.
Many employers will assume that communicating with their team is good enough without considering the way they’re communicating. Transparency goes beyond honesty and when handled incorrectly can leave employees more frustrated than before.
Good communication, however, can foster a positive company culture for all employees. It goes beyond what employees are told from management. In this kind of environment, communication is a mutual conversation between everyone.
How to foster good communication
Knowing good communication is the goal, the next question is how is it done? Just because you’re sending informative emails doesn’t mean you’re doing it right. More importantly, the time to learn to be a good communicator isn’t during a crisis. Having these methods in place when all is good will help the lines of communication when everything falls apart.
Make it a discussion
Some information is simple enough that an email or memo is sufficient to spread the word. When the message is a little weightier with greater implications of change, it’s best to announce the news in a setting where people can discuss the matter with leadership.
Sending an announcement email can work with the promise of discussion to follow. This way your employees have time to review the information and gather their thoughts to bring to the group discussion later.
Listen more than you speak
Explaining what’s happening is important, but then you must listen. A conversation involves a back and forth, allowing all those involved the chance to express themselves with the understanding they will be heard. Even if the conversation begins to become more agitated and you want to speak up to clarify, you have to give your employees the space to voice everything and then you can calmly address all of their concerns. Not only does this give you time to think through your response, you can show just how closely you were listening.
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