Keeping Communication Open
We have all heard the cliché of an open door policy. However, this does not mean a lot if it is not enacted literally and figuratively. For example, if leaders’ doors are almost always closed, it can be a cue to employees to not bother that leader. Even if the leader will accept interruptions, the fact the door is physically closed speaks volumes. Even worse, leaders who do not actually talk to employees of all ranks and engage in meaningful conversations about the business, their position, their aspirations, this clearly defines a culture as one that does not have the proverbial open door policy.
In fact, leaders today have thrown away the language of open door policy and have let their actions speak volume and lead the culture. And this is important in both good times and bad times, with all level of employees, and all age and demographics of employees.
Walk around, stop and chat with team members. Hold full team meetings every week or month. Allow them to ask questions, give feedback, share information. Hold 1:1 with everyone in the company at least once a year. Hang out in the lunch room and join a conversation. Get to know people’s favorite tv shows, hobby, things in the family life, etc. and try to relate to something in your life. Find common ground. Be personable, share information and most importantly, listen to your team.