To create a better workplace culture, it starts with the conversation. Holding critical conversations with employees is key to fostering a workplace culture that drives engagement and productivity.
Here are some key tips in effectively creating those conversations:
1. Commit to having the conversation. Think through what you really what to talk about, why you want to talk about it and the desired outcome. Sometimes its easy to push aside for another day, be sure to set a specific time and date for these conversations.
2. Decide who to talk to on your team. Usually there are advocates for employee groups who are more than willing to step up and give their insight into the thoughts and ideas of the group. Hold focus groups for those key employees that you know will give you a diverse background into your employees ideas, values, and beliefs.
3. Select the right time and place. Timing is everything. Be sure the time and date is convenient and neutral for both you and your employees. Is it beneficial to have the meeting offsite over coffee? Lunch? Be sure to know the perceptive of your target audience so they are comfortable in the setting that is given.
4. Get into the right mindset. Always be aware of your unconscious bias so that you can set them aside to gain knowledge into different perspectives.
5. Begin the conversation by setting the stage. This is key in all tough conversations you have. Start the meeting with small talk, ask about family, friends, hobbies, things that drive and motivate employees. Be transparent. Explain why you are conducting the meeting and the outcome you hope to achieve.
6. Listen to understand, not to solve. Problems and issues will not be resolved at the moment, so take time to write down the concerns, ask questions to clarify, and give feedback.
7. Support a "we" attitude. Use "we" in conversations reinforces that you are in this together and working toward a shared goal of improving the culture of your company.
Contact me for more information on Culture, Diversity, and Inclusion in the workplace.