Ironic that in today’s technology driven world, where there are endless devices and systems in place to connect us, communication or the lack thereof, remains a key leadership challenge. Despite the constant stream of information circling around us on a daily basis, employees are not receiving what they need and want from leadership which, over time, leads to the creation of a disengaged and under-productive workforce. In survey after survey, the data confirms the importance of establishing cultures where open lines of communication can thrive. Case in point, of 1,000 employees recently surveyed across the US, 81% would rather join a company that values open communication over those offering great perks such as, top health plans, free food and health club memberships. Yet of those surveyed only 15% said their current employer was doing a “good job” engaging employees through open communication.
So why does this continue to challenge so many organizations? Quite simply because leaders too often assume their teams have what they need and understand the company goals and direction. They also tend to rely too much on the traditional, one-way forms of communication such as, memos and emails which serve a purpose, but do not provide opportunities for the open discussion and collaboration today’s workforce desires. In order for a culture of open communication to thrive, leaders must adopt new ways of connecting with their teams which support a two-way flow of information. Leaderships willingness to ask, listen and act upon feedback provided by their employees, directly contributes to fostering productive and engaged teams.