How to encourage open communication

Open communication is vital in the workplace and is a great way to improve employee wellbeing.

 

Showing employees that they are valued in a supportive workplace, will make them feel more appreciated no matter what their level of seniority. This in turn, will make them feel more comfortable to share their feelings and thoughts with peers and managers.

 

In this guide, we discuss the best methods on how to encourage employees to talk openly at work, and the positive impact open communication can have in the workplace.

 

Critical Incident stress management

One circumstance where employees may feel the need to chat openly with others, is in the aftermath of a critical or traumatic incident.

 

Open communication is an excellent way to ensure that no-one is bottling up their emotions, trying to deal with their feelings alone, or being too afraid or ashamed to ask for support.

 

Offering support services like Critical Incident Stress Management (CISM) is an effective way to help staff deal with a vast range of psychological, physiological and emotional responses, that they may feel during the aftermath of such incidents.

 

This support, which comes in the form of phone calls, one-to-one and group professional counselling, can be highly beneficial to an individual or groups of employees.

 

Encourage communication

Make sure staff know that you support open communication in the workplace, as this is key for a positive and healthy working environment.

 

A great way to encourage this is to offer opportunities to seek guidance from stress management professionals in a confidential and secure environment.

 

That way, if staff members don’t feel comfortable with discussing their problems and feelings with colleagues, they could disclose their issues to a third party in confidence.

 

A great way to build an open workplace is to encourage staff to get involved with mental health movements such as Mental Health Awareness Day, which is hosted on the 10th October 2018. The benefit of supporting such events is that it will demonstrate how much you care about the wellbeing of your workforce.

 

Offer wellbeing workshops

Another effective method of encouraging communication regarding employee wellbeing, could be offering workshops focused solely at maintaining employees’ physical and mental health.

 

In turn, better employee wellbeing will positively impact productivity and improve how effective staff are in their roles.

 

Wellbeing workshops would educate your staff on the factors that contribute to or aggravate their overall health and mental wellbeing.

 

With the workshops being led by wellbeing experts, each session could encourage employees to improve their lifestyles by emphasising the importance of stress management, exercise and a healthy diet.

 

Recognise signs that individuals are struggling

In order to offer help and support to employees, you need to recognise the signs of someone struggling first. They may be experiencing some of the symptoms below: Irritability

  • Drinking or smoking excessively
  • Insomnia
  • Headaches
  • Sore stomach
  • Trouble breathing

 

By encouraging someone to speak out if they feel any of the above symptoms, may help them shift their focus onto seeking help.

 

By taking these tips on board and encouraging open communication in the workplace, staff can benefit from a more positive environment where they can feel happier, healthier and more productive.

 

 

If you would like to find out more information on any of the topics mentioned in this article, please contact us on:

0844 892 2493.

 

Or alternatively visit our website at:

www.healthassured.org.

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