There are still far too many employers who fear external team coaching; and there really is no need. The very term causes panic as they fear it will lead to them empowering, and then losing their best staff, or maybe they’re just scared of hearing a few home truths about their leadership. Whatever the reason, it is wholly unjustified as there are many, many reasons why team coaching is vital to organisations, large or small. We will cover these in a future post, but before you can even begin to consider offering team coaching to your staff, you first need to have a culture of true transparency. Without this, any team coaching will prove ultimately fruitless.
Working with employees / clients throughout my career, the biggest reasons for leaving a job are rarely financially based but more about how valued (or not) they feel by their employers.
So how can you create a transparent environment in your workplace? Here are five easy ways that leaders can foster transparency and start the journey to greater staff engagement.
Obviously, there will always be sensitive data that cannot be shared, and indeed that is right and proper. But is there more that you could tell your employees? Providing access to key information and keeping everyone in the loop, whether it’s good or bad news, can help to ensure that they have confidence in your leadership and don’t feel misled.
Always have a Why
Leadership involves making a lot of decisions on a daily basis. Don’t just tell your employers what you have decided, but tell them why. This will help them to understand your motivations and priorities, and why you have taken a certain course of action. It will also help to encourage open discussion. Just don’t take any feedback as a personal criticism, but see it as a chance to develop your team.
Involve others in decision making
Once your team understands the priorities of your business and has access to the key information, they will be able to participate in the decision making process. Asking for feedback or input from your staff is an easy way to get them more engaged in the workplace, feel that they are listened to and their opinion is valued.
Don’t shy away from difficult situations
One time when transparency can be threatened is when a difficult situation occurs. At this point it can sometimes feel easier to shut down and keep information to a minimum to limit the damage. However, this is the worst thing you can do. As a leader you need to confront these situations, while still being as transparent as you possibly can in the circumstances. There will be times when you genuinely cannot give details due to confidentiality etc, but remember that in an information vacuum, rumours start that can lead to insecurity as staff automatically fear the worst.
Hold regular Q & A sessions
Creating a transparent environment in the workplace isn’t complicated. A regular question and answer session is an easy way to get your staff more engaged. This can be done anyway you like. Hold a group meeting, send out an anonymous survey or do it via an online message board or similar. For example, In the past I’ve ordered in pizzas for our Q&A sessions as it’s helped to relax staff and help them feel more engaged and willing to contribute. There are many ways this can be achieved, but for it to work, you need to be prepared to answer every question openly and not shirk any difficult topics.
If you would like more information on my team coaching sessions and how they can help you, please do not hesitate to get in touch so that we can start a conversation.