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There’s a reason why the “open door” policy is so popular among workplaces. Open communication maintains a culture of trust and confidence that typically leads to increased productivity. When an employee feels she can access higher ups and freely contribute to the success of the company, there’s no limit to what can be achieved. Open communication is a key principle for many companies, from startups to well established businesses. Here are a few reasons why every office should have an open communication policy.
Bridging the Gap
A common complaint in the workplace is the deep divide between employees and management. While head honchos generally have a million responsibilities to tend to, being as accessible as possible to all employees should be at the top of the list. Why? Because open communication leads to effective communication which then results in a smooth workflow. The more ideas Johnny gets to bounce off of his boss Ryan, the more likely it is that he completes his project error-free. This would ideally eliminate any chances of having to redo projects based on miscommunication. In fact, Salesforce reports that “86% of executives identify ineffective collaboration and communication as a major cause of failure in business.”
An open communication office leads to a more engaged and trusting team of employees. Having fewer boundaries and more spontaneous discussions allows employees to bounce ideas off one another more freely and in a team setting. Employees who are in constant communication with colleagues will feel more comfortable sharing their thoughts and ideas and try to better contribute to projects. It is no surprise that some of the most groundbreaking ideas have come out of such collaborative work spaces. Not to mention employees begin to develop a level of trust toward each other as the idea of teamwork becomes more commonplace. Engagement Enhances Performance
Open communication can also lead to increased levels of productivity. Welcoming dialogue into the workplace gives employees a chance to not only share their opinions, but also have their input acknowledged and recognized by others. As a result, employees start to feel more valuable and invested in the office. They begin to take ownership for certain projects and get excited at the company’s success. Conversely, they feel disappointed if monthly sales quotas are not met or quarterly projections fall short. When employees really feel part of a project, they take ownership of it and work hard to see its success.
When employees lack honest and open communication, low morale can quickly surface as a result. Employees should always feel comfortable asking for clarification when they don’t understand the tasks at hand. When individuals are afraid to ask questions or give feedback, they become less confident in their abilities and start to lose esteem for themselves. Consequently, they might begin to dread coming into the office or be reluctant to take on more projects, habits you definitely want to avoid fostering in your workplace. The last thing an office wants is for its employees to sleepwalk through the workday unhappy and unproductive.
Open communication helps move companies forward, not backwards. It helps improve group efficiency and effectiveness by opening up lines of communication between colleagues, stakeholders, and higher ups. It is a valuable tool that lets management share with everyone the current status of the company, along with goals and projections for the future. When a company keeps employees and stakeholders in the loop about the direction it intends to go, everyone gets a clearer sense of what their roles are in the overall future and structure of the organization.
About the Author
Kathleen Cancio is a freelance blogger who has worked in PPC Marketing and Public Policy Research. She was most recently a Search Marketing Analyst at CommonMind, LLC, one of Clutch’s top PPC Agencies for 2015. She has a wide range of interests including painting, traveling and hiking.
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