Many organisations do not let their employees publish anything in their professional capacity unless it has been checked. It’s not a great way to encourage people to have the confidence to share relevant and useful information that is useful for colleagues, customers and your supply chain.
This applies to senior executives as much as it does people lower down the organisation. But being able to share the knowledge and expertise that sits in your workforce is, and will increasingly be, how you gain competitive advantage.
It is good for your business – you will know what is going on – and it is good for the personal, professional development of colleagues.
Reflecting on years spent interviewing people, it really is sad when someone says that they will have to check if what they have said can be used. Why? Because it says the organisation does not trust them. And that is at the heart of why open communications are so difficult for so many companies.
It needn’t be that way. Here are five tips to develop more open communication.
1 Trust your employees This is the starting point. If you can do this, you can achieve great things and that includes colleagues sharing useful and relevant insights.
2 Be clear on mission and vision Articulate why sharing stories is valuable to the organisation. Without this context you will get off topic content.
3 Support colleagues in telling their stories Colleagues may lack the skills and confidence to do this, especially if they have been made to feel they have nothing to offer. Support colleagues in developing their ‘voice’ – everyone has something to offer.
4 Celebrate what’s shared However confident we are about sharing what we do we still need to feel like someone has seen what we have done and found it useful. Make sure people know and make them feel good about what they are doing. They will do more if you do.
5 Develop an organisational narrative Many stories can make for a compelling narrative. Keep an eye on how that unfolds and work out how to use these stories to shape the bigger narrative that emerges.