What is open communication and why does your business need it?

Communication is an essential skill to master if you’re running a business. It’s the cornerstone of everything you do, from proposals and sales to customer service and marketing. But if you want to uplevel your standard of communication in the workplace, you need to ensure you’re using open communication.

What is open communication in the workplace?

Simply put, open communication is where all parties can express their ideas, opinions, and concerns, regardless of who they are or their role. If you want your team to be more effective, open communication will help. It allows them to speak their mind, share their ideas and feel like a valued member of your team.

Why does your business need it?

Open communication is essential to your business, as it helps boost trust and confidence in you as an employer. It also helps employees become more engaged with you and others and see where they fit into your business and its overall success.

From an employee standpoint, open communication helps reduce stress levels and helps each person feel more secure in their position within your business. When your team feels secure, they feel more motivated, and you’ll see improvements in their self-esteem, team morale and productivity too. 

Your team members will find the working environment more enjoyable and rewarding, as they feel more included. And this ultimately leads to an overall increase in workplace productivity.

How to get started using open communication 

You now know what open communication is and how it benefits your team and your business. But if you’re wondering about how to implement it, don’t worry! It’s not difficult, and it’s something you can get started on right away. Here are five tips to help.

#1: Be transparent and honest

Trust is key with open communication, and it needs to be a two-way thing. By being transparent and honest, you’re helping show that you’re willing to get a little vulnerable with your team – and they’re more likely to respond in kind.

#2: Ensure you’re always approachable

Open communication only works if you’re open and approachable yourself! This includes practising active listening and valuing other people’s opinions, thoughts and feedback.

#3: Ask for feedback and suggestions

Talking of feedback, actively ask for it. Have a simple system in place for people to leave comments, suggestions and feedback to help improve things. You can’t always see the wood for the trees, especially when solving problems and thinking out of the box. When you ask for input from others, you’re opening up to more possibilities and the collective hive mind.

#4: Give credit to the right people

If you want to keep morale and motivation high, give praise where praise is due. Your team may work well together, but everyone in it will also appreciate being seen as an individual. When you give credit to someone for their idea or input on something, you’re building trust and helping them know that you appreciate them.

#5: Act on the feedback you’re given

Finally, look to act on all feedback you’re given. There’s no point encouraging people to be more open if you’re not going to take any of it on board! Look to implement changes based on the positive and negative feedback you receive. Respond to each person and thank them for their feedback – it helps build relationships and, ultimately, enables you to build a stronger business.

Open communication is an essential skill for any business owner to master. However, if you’re constantly juggling your available energy and time, that won’t help. That’s where an OBM can help. They’re able to manage the day to day running of your business, as well as team management and general business communication. So if that sounds like a solution you’d like to explore, head here to check out more information on working with an OBM.

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