Three simple ways to get your team onside again.
Do you employ people in community services?
If so, do you also find it interesting that in such a people-focussed industry, communication culture is often not functioning at the level it could be?
It’s ironic, but people working in areas where client communication skills are at the top of the list, often get stumped on that very same thing – communication.
The general focus of communication culture in community services is often on one-to-one, interpersonal client communication. And here’s where we all shine. Your team could be off the charts when it comes to client communication, active listening, being present with the person, holding space, and picking up on non-verbal cues. But that same team could be experiencing a communication culture crisis when it comes to workplace communication.
Your team could be off the charts when it comes to client communication, but that same team could be experiencing a communication culture crisis when it comes to workplace communication.
Thanks to COVID, teams are feeling more disconnected right now than ever before. Yes, we may still all be working out of the same office (because let’s face it, remote work doesn’t really work all that well when it comes to caring for others!), but with the fatigue of constant hypervigilance, and the curve balls this pandemic is constantly throwing us, we’re fading on the inside. And it’s at times like these that we must be intentional about the communication tone and culture we set in the workplace.
Perhaps you’ve noticed some of these triggers creeping into your workplace communication:
* Staff not contributing to the team outcomes
* Negative comments (about staff, customers or the business itself)
* Increased sick leave
* Decrease in productivity
* Low energy in the room
* Staff not communicating with each other
If one or more of these are sounding familiar, it could be time to re-establish your workplace communication culture and win your team to the cause you’re passionate about as an organisation. This is also helpful when onboarding and engaging new team members. Here’s how:
1. Communicate the cause
Communication descends into nitpicking or fault-finding when we lose sight of the big picture. Many employers wrongly assume that their team has the big picture in the forefront of their mind. Mistake! Every team needs a leader to remind them of why they’re doing what they’re doing. We get busy. And we forget. It’s normal.
So find fresh ways to communicate vision and passion to your team. When we’re refreshed by something we genuinely care about, it presses the reset button on culture-killers. Try it.
2. Hear the negative, speak the positive
When people don’t feel heard or affirmed, it’s a surefire communication culture-killer. When you’re attempting to reestablish the tone of your workplace communication, it doesn’t mean you quash any and all negative talk. People need to vent, and sometimes they need you to hear them, to provide reassurance and affirmation.
So create safe places in your organisation where people know they can bring issues, be heard, and cared for themselves. Hear the negative, but set the tone by speaking the positive.
3. Bring back the fun
This is no technical rocket science – but it’s just as important! Low morale doesn’t happen overnight. It’s the product of a severe lack of enjoyment in the work environment.
So think outside the box. How can you inject some COVID-safe fun into your workplace? Remember, people are really feeling the pinch of the lack of their usual events and social opportunities after months of going without. Some simple, timely and intentional gestures to bring back the fun can really lift energy and start to open up the communication again.
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Want to know more about creating a positive workplace culture? Download our free eBook: 5 secrets to fostering a positive culture in your business and get even more helpful strategies that you can use straight away.
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It’s true, turning the mothership of workplace culture communication can feel like a mammoth task. The principles are simple – but it takes consistency. So start today: communicate the cause, know when to listen and how to speak, and keep the fun alive!
Create safe places in your organisation where people know they can bring issues, be heard, and cared for themselves. Hear the negative, but set the tone by speaking the positive.
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