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Date posted: 27th February 2024

27th February 2024

Strategies for cultivating open communication in the workplace

Strategies for cultivating open communication in the workplace

In a recent article, Frank Devine discusses the importance of open communication in the workplace culture and offers seven ways to achieve it. He emphasizes the need to create curiosity and trust among employees, encouraging leaders to surprise and exceed expectations. Devine also suggests aligning engagement strategies with ambitious goals, maximizing employees’ decision-making autonomy, and supporting engagement with proper enablement. Peer-to-peer communication at all levels and embracing cultural diversity are recommended, along with reframing challenge and feedback as drivers of improvement rather than negative interactions. Building psychological safety for employees to express their opinions is essential for a healthy workplace culture.

This article was written by Frank Devine and published in People Management.

When senior leaders seek advice on changing company culture, they often express frustration with communication challenges. Despite investing in costly initiatives, engagement survey results remain underwhelming. So, what strategies effectively foster open communication, cognitive diversity, and a culture of constructive challenge, driving innovation and competitiveness? Let’s explore actionable approaches.

  1. Cultivate Curiosity and Trust: Earn employees’ attention and engagement by fostering trust and curiosity. Employees listen to leaders they trust, earned through genuine actions aligned with organizational values and purpose. Surprise them positively to spark curiosity and attention.
  2. Test Your Engagement Design: Match engagement goals with powerful interventions. Timid approaches yield disappointing results. Overcome skepticism with impactful initiatives demonstrating integrity and commitment.
  3. Maximize Solution Space: Empower employees with decision-making autonomy, fostering a self-healing culture where they can address challenges independently. Trust and support in decision-making enhance engagement and performance consistently.
  4. Ensure Enablement Supports Engagement: Address dysfunctional systems hindering employee effectiveness. Involve end users in policy and system design to align with their needs, fostering trust and humility in leadership.
  5. Leverage Peer-to-Peer Communication: Utilize skilled peer communicators at all levels to facilitate dialogue and share organizational culture. Empower internal facilitators to promote inclusivity, advancement opportunities, and social diversity.
  6. Embrace Cultural Diversity: Resist unnecessary standardization and embrace cultural diversity for innovation and ownership. Respect local cultures and encourage pride and ownership to drive positive outcomes.
  7. Reframe Challenge and Feedback: Promote constructive feedback and challenge as drivers of improvement. Encourage open dialogue and psychological safety for employees to voice dissent and drive positive change.

By implementing these strategies, organizations can foster open communication, cognitive diversity, and a culture of constructive challenge, driving innovation and competitiveness.

Read the original article: Seven ways to build open communication into your workplace culture


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