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Establishing a Culture of Two-Way Communication

23 November, 2022
4 mins

The lack of two-way communication in the workplace is a common issue that has been hampering the functioning and progress of enterprises of all sizes. Within all organizations, two-way communication significantly impacts employee engagement and trust. It promotes open communication in both directions and supports the development of managers and staff.

Consider two-way communication as a game of tennis. The game is over if the player on the opposing end doesn’t return the ball after it is served. The game is only conceivable because of the constant back and forth between two or more players, and it also keeps things interesting. To say the least, it is ridiculous to expect the spectators to remain interested in the game while playing on an empty court with no other players allowed to participate. 

Two-way communication
Source: Freepik

Similar arguments affect workplace communication. Talking at others rather than talking to them makes people apathetic and unmotivated, which affects how engaged they are in their work and how well they accomplish it. Employees who believe that their opinions are valued and that they are working with rather than for management are more likely to be motivated, engaged, and productive. In contrast to one-way communication, two-way communication includes both upward (from staff to management) and downward (from managers to staff) communication (from managers to employees).

 

Benefits of establishing a culture of two-way communication

Each and every business strategy must succeed through two-way communication, which also greatly helps all levels of the workforce in the following ways:

 

  1. Foster loyalty and trust

The main factors influencing employee happiness are trust and loyalty. As they positively affect motivation and morale, trust and loyalty directly impact the performance standard. Although, it is not just trusting in management that is critical, but also having trust among peers, especially in the modern team-based work conditions of today. So, the crucial concern is: How do businesses develop that trust? Most organizational leaders concur that fostering a trustworthy workplace begins with excellent internal communication. This requires an environment where your organization will actively listen to employee feedback and act on it, and allow employees to express their thoughts.

 

  1. Boost employee engagement

There’s plenty of evidence to support the idea that employee engagement causes, among other things, employee empowerment, higher retention rates, and increased profitability. It is closely related to job happiness and relies heavily on workplace trust and two-way communication. Internal communication that is free and open fosters positive connections, removes barriers to opinion expression, and results in ongoing productive discussions that help a company grow. People who work in a supportive environment are more likely to be personally invested in the company.

 

  1. Innovative ideas

Employees’ shared brainstorming sessions can improve the quality of new ideas and lower the likelihood of redundancy when they are urged to work collaboratively rather than in isolation. Individual efforts frequently need to catch up with today’s dynamic corporate environment. One of the finest methods to innovate and share viewpoints is to bounce ideas off coworkers. This is only possible when your workforce works in a culture where two-way  is a regular practice. Owing to such a culture, employees will be more than willing to share their inputs with other teams and managers, which will likely add more and better ideas to the table. 

 

How to establish a culture of two-way feedback? 

 

  1. Have effective meetings

When the employees have to be present in a meeting just for the sake of it, they are more likely to get disengaged and resentful of collaborating with others. Regular meetings, unremembered agendas, and absent stakeholders can be a combination of a disaster. To solve this issue, organizations can give meeting agendas such as – What matters the most for the business? This will ensure that all the crucial points are touched on in the meetings. The rest of the discussion can be between the departmental managers and their employees. This will ensure that all the meetings are productive and, at the same time, are done between the individuals and groups that are relevant to that meeting. 

 

  1. Invest in the right tools

Understanding your audience or your employees is key to developing effective communication. It would be more beneficial to make communication comfortable for employees by understanding their preferences rather than forcing an unwanted method of communication upon them. Employees should have direct, equitable access to one another for synchronous and asynchronous communication. Other introverted employees might have different confidence than outgoing coworkers when speaking their minds in a public setting.

 

  1. Have team-building activities

Employees will be more open to expressing their ideas when they have a sense of belonging to the rest of the team. Employees can become more linked to, responsible for, and supportive of one another at work by actively participating in team-building activities. Having monthly or quarterly team-building fun activities will give your employees a prospect to engage with the employees and managers in a more casual environment. Along with this, Making time for lunch meetings, tea dates, or other brief interactions regularly can enhance cross-functional communication and feedback.

 

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