At SpeakInConfidence we are all about providing a way for staff to reach out to you to raise ideas, issues and concerns in a safe environment by providing their feedback anonymously. We recognise, of course, that this is just part of the communication mix for most organisations so here are some ideas about how you can promote communication in your organisation.
- Face-to-face. Nothing beats a bit of direct contact for really understanding the emotions in a conversation. After all it’s pretty hard to read body language in an email!
- Cascade. When I worked at Yellow Pages many years ago these were incredibly popular. A missive would be issued from on high and then cascaded down the business through the management to the staff. Problem with this method can be that people are left with questions that cannot be answered and there is a real danger of Chinese whispers as the information comes down the line.
- Email. While email usage has become overused it still is a quick and easy way of reaching out both from staff to manager and vice versa. Keep in mind that it can be easy to mis-read the feeling of a message and miss the importance.
- Suggestion box. This one has been around for years and is a great way of getting non-time critical feedback, although one drawback is being unable to seek further input from relevant staff easily.
- Open door. Most organisations these days would say that they have an open door policy. Encouraging people to come and speak should be encouraged but keep in mind just what it might take for someone to make that step across the threshold.
- CEO walk round. Many CEOs say that employees are free to reach out to them but how many actually go to the employees? Walking the floor occasionally and talking to staff can be a good way to gauge feeling.
- Employee forum. These days this can be online as well as face-to-face in fact the former can work better for geographically distributed teams. Did you know that SpeakInConfidence has an employee forum built in?