Cultivating Workplace Culture: Open Communication = High Trust

High trust begins with high communication. By this I mean an open door policy but it means more than that. Being a combative supervisor or a micro manager and having an open door causes people to go out of their way to avoid you. Perhaps this is why executives feel most comfortable when their office is in the corner of the building. Or, there is a floor dedicated to the senior management team. I have never quite understood why executives place their offices in a corner. I always wanted to be in an office that is close to the team I was leading.

Maintain Open Communication

Clear RAA’s are a must! This was the subject of my last blog. With all RAA’s expectations require an agreement; a contract so to speak. There must also be consequences for failure to operate within the boundaries and expectations established. The only caveat I would attach to this is too much control limits growth. If you want to establish a growth strategy, some risk taking is always involved.

Consequently, maintain open communication with your team members to ensure high trust. Meet with each direct report weekly either on site or by telephone. Coach and encourage your team mate and ensure expectations are clear.

Use 5.15 Reporting

5.15 is reporting on tactics and should take 15 minutes to prepare. Use a form that asks what:

  1. Were your accomplishments last week?
  2. Are your priorities this week?
  3. Resources or tools do you need?
  4. Do you need from a fellow team mate to achieve your objectives this week?
  5. Obstacles do you have?
  6. Opportunities do you see for the team?

Gather your team together and ask each of them to take 5 minutes to report on their progress. Here is a link to better understand 5.15 reporting. There are many benefits to open dialogue. First and foremost, you build high trust levels when everyone has all the information. Similarly, peer management; everyone on the team gets to see what everyone else is doing. High performers love it, poor performers hate it. The idea of walking into a meeting every week and reporting on results makes everyone better. Or, they leave and go somewhere else. For more read this article on accountability.

Like wise, a benefit of 5.15 reporting is reduced work overlap. This is especially true when everyone on the team has a different specialty. For example, a PR person and a sales team reporting to a marketing leader may have overlap. You can decide if you want this type of overlap or not.

If you’re looking for the next post in this series check this out: “Intentional Focus – Putting First Things First”

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