Within the last few years I noticed that the best managers I ever worked for were those that kept open lines of communication. I had two managers that may have needed to actually have less of an open door policy as I have no clue how they ever got actual work accomplished. However, you could always get the status of anything you needed at any given time. Unfortunately there have been very few managers that I have worked for that made the environment as open as these two did. It was a delight to work for them and when I moved on I actually felt bad knowing I was leaving them.
Therefore, today’s casual business lesson is going to be focused around open lines of communication. Being a manager who has always practiced open lines of communication with my employees I know it can be difficult as it often takes time away from other work to keep everyone informed. The flip side is that your employees will take more stock in their position with the company and feel more like a part of the team when you keep them in the loop.
Several places I’ve worked have given me managers that are poster children for broken lines of communication with staff. In each location I’ve seen the same problems arise. There is always confusion amongst the employees, eventually an uprising and that’s usually when people begin searching for other forms of employment due to the unhappiness with their current work situation. These are all problems that can be avoided.
My last place of employment gave me an opportunity to get to know my employees very well as my office was in the corner of their break room. It was an interesting office situation that could be trying at times to get my work done, but it did allow me the chance to continually keep my staff up to date on everything that I was able to share. Obviously there are topics that you will not be able to openly communicate, but there are many that you will be able to and your employees will appreciate hearing them.
When I made the decision to leave my last job it was very difficult. After three years I felt as if we were less of a workforce and more of a dynamic family situation. I cared about each of the employees as I watched on as the attended college, graduated, got married and even moved on to professional careers of their own. I was always sad to see them go, but so proud to see them achieving their goals and starting their own careers. In my mind this was all due to our open lines of communication and the wonderful work environment we all maintained each and every day.
Take a moment out of your day and think if you have taken the time to chat with your staff. Do you know anything about them outside of work? Are they looking to move forward in their career? Do they feel like they have a good grip on the company and what is going on around them? Are you sharing information accurately and equally with all of your team? If you are having trouble with some of these questions than it might just be time to re-evaluate the way you interact with your team and share information.