Improving Communication and Work Relationships
With recent studies showing that only 33% of the American workforce is engaged and only 10% of today’s workforce is equipped with the skills to be an effective leader, it is clear that there is work to be done. One way to improve your workplace is to invest in better communication and work relationships. Luckily, there are studies to back up that this works. According to this 2016 Gallup poll, companies who focus on improving relationships and overall work communication experience 20% higher productivity, 21% higher profitability, and 41% lower absenteeism.
How does a leader really improve communication and relationships within the workplace, though? According to this WELOCA article, Wisdom Labs states that there are three primary contributing factors that all leaders need for effective workplace conversations; self-awareness, self -regulation, and genuine connections, all of which improve relationships as well.
Self-awareness means being fully aware of how you come across to others and how your actions affect others. It also means understanding your own strengths and weaknesses, so you can better manage the capabilities of yourself and your team. While self-awareness takes time and discipline, it is a very important trait as a leader. Once you become self-aware, you become better at controlling your emotions and you learn how to motivate yourself and those around you. Being self-aware also makes you more concerned with how others perceive you, which improves your communication with your team as well as encourages you to build better relationships with them.
Self-regulation is interconnected with self-awareness. WELCOA cites a recent study when they explain that leaders can impact individuals with up to three degrees of separation of them. That means that every action you take can affect the entire organization. That is why self-regulation is so important. In the simplest of terms, it means self-control. By controlling your actions and the way you communicate, you can make sure you send positive ripples throughout the organization, instead of negative. This, in turn, creates better relationships with all employees and improves engagement.
The best possible way to improve engagement is to make sure employees know you genuinely care about them. Someone who feels their boss has their best interest at heart is much more likely to enjoy working for that person, which improves engagement. According to WELCOA, you can work on creating genuine relationships at work is by training yourself to be more vulnerable. While this isn’t easy for everyone, it is necessary if you want employees to feel close to you. Consider holding a “weekly synchronization.” This could be a get-together every Monday morning where you, other leaders, and employees talk about personal and professional goals for the week, as well as anything else important going on in your lives. This is a great way to truly connect with everyone and get a better understanding of who they are. Not only does this help improve relationships, but it helps open up communication with one another and improves the way the team functions.
For more information, visit WELCOA’s website!