You’re probably thinking, “Of course they are!,” which is a natural reaction to the title of this post. But are they really talking to each other?
Except for a “good morning” in the kitchen as they grab the coffee pot, the “see you tomorrow” at the end of the day, and the niceties in between — there’s a chance your employees aren’t really talking to each other.
It begins with you. As a successful manager, you have to also encourage communication beyond the performance reviews and the occasional greeting. (Or worse, the complaints!) If communication between you and your employees is consistent, it’ll encourage them to come to you with problems, as well as ideas.
If communication between your employees is stagnant, and doesn’t go beyond the mandatory team meetings, your company as a whole may remain running in place.
Have team leaders who are not only checking in on project progress, but also employee interaction. Give them a little bit of creative rope to figure out the best way to do this because they will know their teammates best. What may work for one group in terms of communication may not work for another.
Have a company bulletin board that’s actually useful in a central location. Encourage your employees to check it regularly by allowing them to post relevant information, not just emergency phone numbers and the company holidays. If you have freelancers, or remote workers in your company, take the bulletin board to the virtual level.
It pays to find out if your employees are really talking to each other. In order to avoid those common communication headaches, help them find the balance between gossip and mandatory progress reports.
Are your employees talking to each other? How do you encourage communication in your office?