Silent Employees Are Saying More Than You Think
You know it's not good when your significant other stops communicating. Guess what, the same goes for your employees.
Communication is vital in business and life. When that communication comes to a halt something very wrong is happening. There are many factors to take into account when communication drops dead, but more than likely, it is you.
Your leadership, attitude, and communication are the root causes for the communication shut down. Not to say there aren't any exceptions, but they are few and far between. During the lockout the last thing you should be thinking about is your employees believe you are a good leader or that they already know what to do in their given roles. Creating excuses as to why it's not happening or not addressing the issue will be the downfall of any team.
Employees need that interaction to feel a sense of purpose, feel important, and feel recognized. If you are not giving that to them from the start chances are they won't stick around until you do. Everything you do with your team is based on transparent, intentional, and uplifting communication.
Bouncing back from a communication lockout is not impossible but very difficult. The old saying, "do it right the first time" holds a different level of seriousness in this particular situation. The lack of genuine care and concern for the employee is amplified and has put them on high alert. Especially if your communication before was only to drive results.
There is light at the end of the tunnel. It will be hard, frustrating, and painful at times, but still possible. You will feel at times like you are micromanaging or talking too much about things outside of work. Your team will be skeptical, mistrusting, and standoffish. You will feel every bit of it.
Reconnecting with your team won't happen overnight, you may even lose a few along the way, but don't get discouraged. Laying the groundwork to open the lines of communication and setting the standard of how your team interacts is the most crucial part of being a team.
Here are a few things to get you started rebuilding that relationship. First off, make the effort, even if it is met with aggravation. Be consistent in your efforts. Consistency will be noticed and appreciated over time. Come genuinely. Your team will notice if you are just going through the motions. Open the scope of conversation to topics outside of the workplace. Getting your team to talk about their life outside of work creates comfort and openness. Watch your tone. It is easy to get frustrated and that comes out in your tone, reign it in. Last tip of the day, smile. This one action maybe the most vital. No matter what you say, your expression will tell your team everything they need to know.
You get the opportunity to build great people, to create an environment that attributes to the happiness in the lives of others. This is your time to make a difference in the world and how your team views it. Don't take it lightly.