“I feel like a mushroom. They keep me in the dark, so I keep them in the dark.”
A key member of a leadership team muttered these powerful words when we conducted an organizational assessment for his company. This is what happens when organizations fail to create a culture that embraces open communication.
Consider how damaging it is when an influential member of your leadership team withholds information. From you. From staff. From residents. The negative impact is tremendous.
Creating culture candor.
Organizations that have a strong culture that focuses on communication will outperform those left “in the dark.” Transparency allows organizations to run more efficiently and effectively.
It starts with sharing information. Anytime you have an important message to communicate, we suggest doing so in at least five ways. Some ideas include:
- Town hall meeting (Invite residents, family members and staff)
- Departmental specific meetings (How does this information impact our department?)
- One-on-one meeting with staff (Share how you think they can move the project forward.)
- Inclusion in a newsletter (Resident, family and/or staff newsletter)
- Posting talking points
- Sharing information via email
- Talking informally with individuals or groups during rounds
Encourage staff to ask questions about the message you are communicating. Invite them to anonymously drop them in a box (like a suggestion box), but answer questions in public in a staff meeting, by posting answers on a board, etc.
Be sure to also encourage team members to share information amongst each other. Try using learning circles and team huddles. Want to learn more about how to implement these communication techniques? Check out our step-by-step guide in our free toolkit.
Actual client outcomes.
What happens when you focus on creating a culture of candor? Here are some powerful outcomes our clients have experienced:
- 90% of staff shared they can better meet the needs of residents because of new communication techniques
- 76% of staff shared that new ways of communicating have made their jobs easier
- 10% increase in the number of residents that say, “Staff speak to me respectfully.”
Need help creating a culture that supports open communication and decreases wasteful gossip time? Contact us.
This article was written by Drive Team Member, Allison Duda.
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