Having an authentic conversation is the foundation for building a conducive working environment. It makes your workspace less toxic and inspires trust. As a matter of fact, to achieve optimal productivity and growth, leaders should encourage authentic conversations at work.
Authentic conversations encourage employees to talk openly without fear of attack by others. It allows people to talk about their own fears and shortcomings.
According to statistics, on average, a full-time employee in the United States works 1,801 hours per year. Moreover, if you work for about 30 years, you are spending 32,430 hours of your life with your coworkers.
Now you understand why every organization should prioritize authentic conversation.
It’s only natural to develop camaraderie when employees spend a lot of time together – especially if they want to reach the same goals.
However, developing a camaraderie is almost impossible if the organization doesn’t encourage authentic conversations among employees.
Furthermore, authentic conversations at work breed employees who trust each other, take pride in their work and foster a positive company culture.
Some of the biggest and most successful brands in the world have one thing in common – they encourage authentic conversations.
Interestingly, if there’s an authentic conversation, there will always be real growth for everyone. And employees will be loyal to the company’s mission and vision.
The question now is, how do leaders encourage authentic conversations at work?
So, here are a few tips to help you grow authentic conversation at work;
#1. Communication Protocols
Having an authentic conversation at work doesn’t happen overnight.
It takes conscious effort to establish the type of conversation that encourages productivity and growth.
But it starts with having a protocol that encourages open communication. There will be less tension in your organization once you create an atmosphere that fosters open communication.
Of course, you don’t have to write an HR policy about this. Just ensure that the culture of authentic conversation is instilled in everybody.
Once this is done, everything will gradually fall into place – from top management to bottom.
Ensure that everybody within the organization is on the same page on the need to create an atmosphere of open communication.
So, employees should understand how, when, and why they need to communicate.
Again, try to make every staff see the need to send feedback to their supervisors. And supervisors should take this feedback seriously.
Furthermore, the organization should have an acceptable tone, language, emoji, and communication tools to use.
No business can survive in the long run, if employees aren’t honest about what they think or feel.
#2. Communication Tools
Establishing communication protocols is not enough. You need to have communication tools that make communication.
Of course, there are countless communication tools you can use, here are a few of them;
Having reliable chat platforms is one of the best ways to encourage authentic conversations at work.
These platforms provide texting, file-sharing, and video-calling functionality. Additionally, you can integrate these functions with other apps.
There are several chat platforms you can adapt for your companies. Some of these platforms are; Slack, chatwork, CA flowdock, Google hangouts, Facebook workplace, Amazing chime, Twist, Flock, Discord, Cisco Webex teams, Zoho cliq, Ryver, mattermost, etc.
Video Conferencing Tools
Video conferencing tools also encourage authentic communication within an organization.
These tools don’t only save time, but also bring about the intended results much faster.
And it encourages employees to be honest about what they think or feel about a particular strategy or policy.
Video conferencing tools like Google Meet, Microsoft Teams, and Zoom became popular during the Covid-19 pandemic.
Interestingly, these tools also have texting, file-sharing functionality, and video.
Some even have virtual whiteboarding and screen capture options. So, just explore your options and adopt the video conferencing tool that best suits your organization’s needs.
When it comes to internal communication, you can’t rule out the importance of emails. For instance, you can encourage every staff to send emails whenever they observe an anomaly in the system.
It could be that a particular strategy will consume more cost, or a new policy will affect customer services.
Whatever the issue is, your employees should have the confidence to notify their supervisors via email or any other medium.
In a nutshell, little observations like these can help your organization scale through challenging times.
Project Management and Collaboration Tools
One of the best ways to encourage authentic conversations at work is to invest in project management and collaboration tools. These tools encourage collaboration among employees which is a sign of effective teamwork.
Again, when there’s collaboration, there are authentic conversations. That is because everybody will have to give an honest opinion of what they think about the task at hand and the way forward.
One good thing about collaboration is that it harnesses the best out of two or more individuals together.
#3. Fostering Engagement and Camaraderie
Authentic conversations at work foster engagement and camaraderie.
Camaraderie is a term used to describe the mutual trust and friendship among people who spend a lot of time together.
The truth is, authentic conversations at work bring about genuine employee engagement. And this will lead to mutual trust and friendship.
Everybody wants to work in an organization that offers meaningful work, a positive culture, and personal, and professional growth opportunities.
And encouraging authentic conversation gives employees the confidence that they are working in an organization with these qualities.
In a nutshell, here are tips that some of the most successful brands use to encourage personal and professional growth opportunities for their employees.
- Your company should have a real purpose and ambition. You should look beyond making money. Think about growth and professional opportunities for your employees.
- Have an open and inclusive company culture that encourages everyone to take part and share feedback. And this will set a foundation for authentic conversations.
- Take your employees’ career growth seriously. Make provision for more training and ensure that every employee is at their best in whatever they do.
Now you understand why leaders should encourage authentic conversations at the workplace.