While the pandemic left everyone, everywhere lingering with unknowns in the workplace and forced businesses to adapt at rapid speed, several companies utilized the last year as an opportunity to create new workplace structures. Many businesses saw the success they wouldn’t have seen otherwise by implementing new, innovative, multi-layered approaches to remote internal communication that have now become best practices today.
Leading a company is no easy feat, and leading a company through a pandemic was a different challenge entirely. As we round the curve, I wanted to share a few key tactics that business owners across any industry can implement to create an open, high-functioning, thriving work culture that drives results.
Lead by Example
In most companies, it’s a common perception that the leader is seen as having the right answers to every question. That’s not always the case. Asking your employees for their perspectives can help you discover issues that you might not have noticed otherwise, and create an open space for new ideas and solutions to improve your business. As a leader, you should be questioning the norm (your standard way of doing things) out loud and seeking feedback from your employees. By doing so, you’re leading by example– promoting a culture of question-asking and curiosity, modeling to your employees that there is always a different way to do or approach tasks, and efficiency is vital.
Listen to What is Being Asked
Focus on the initiative of the question. Give your employees the freedom to express their concerns and questions without being afraid to do so. A simple way to show you’re actively listening to your employees’ feedback is to give them your undivided attention and offer feedback after they communicate with you. This creates a more collaborative atmosphere and shows that you listen to your employees – embracing and being understanding of their thoughts and feelings. Our employees have been through a lot over the last year. Listening to their concerns, addressing their doubts and empowering their ideas is the least we can do to continue to drive a culture of comfortability and understanding.
Implement Open Channels of Communication
Creating a space for employees to express their concerns or ask questions is vital, especially while remote working. These can include online forums, directories, recorded webinars, group chats, etc. Everyone is different and different people might prefer different pathways to communication, depending on comfort level. While some employees might be more vulnerable and open to share feedback, others might opt to share their thoughts anonymously. Nonetheless, the point of the matter is to create various communication channels to provide each of your employees the option to share their thoughts. By showing our employees that we care about what they say and seek to create changes based on their feedback, we’re driving performance and creating a healthy work environment. At Fastest Labs, we’ve created a ticketed franchisee support system that allows our franchisees to submit a support ticket where they can openly ask questions, provide feedback and so on.
Reward, Not Punish
Reward employees who take the initiative to communicate and ask questions openly. Too often, people stay quiet in fear of getting backlash for coming forward. When someone does speak up, approach them with open ears and ask how much they’d like to be involved in working toward a solution or what new ideas and approaches the company can take. This will only strengthen the relationships between management and its employees.
Whether you’re leading remotely or in person, implementing each of these tactics will only strengthen your work culture. With a strengthened work culture, you’ll have motivated employees who are eager and happy to come to (or log onto) work every day – and, you will inevitably see the results.
Submitted by Dave Claflin, CEO of Fastest Labs, the premier drug, alcohol and DNA testing franchise providing certified testing for both private and legal purposes. Through his motivational leadership, Dave has implemented several channels of internal communication for Fastest Labs and its employees to promote effective ways of team communication and collaboration – no questions slip through the cracks and no one is left behind.
Fastest Labs delivers clean, fast testing with an extremely high level of customer service. With 59 units open in 22 states, the brand offers affordable lab tests for businesses, individuals, students, teens and corporations. Additionally, Fastest Labs has been recognized as a top franchise opportunity in 2021 by Franchise Business Review. For more information about Fastest Labs, visit www.fastestlabs.com.