It should be easy, shouldn’t it… just talking? Good communication is at ‘the golden core’ of contentment, of people management and of a mentally healthy, productive workplace. But it’s surprising how many businesses struggle when it comes to meaningful communication.

Good communication, of course, has everything to do with “good listening”. To welcome input, to invite participation, is a deliberate act of respect and a ‘pressure release valve’ for workplace stress. The task for leadership is to create the opportunity for speaking, for listening, for being heard.

So, think about it. Are your staff meetings an opportunity for real discussion and the free flow of ideas, top-to-bottom, right through the organisation?

Do your people feel encouraged to speak up when pressured or stressed, or when work systems are failing? Can they do this in a ‘no blame’ culture, where mistakes become opportunities for a review of work systems and for training and support?

And do you have a support system and strategies in place where people experiencing distress are encouraged to speak up and report poor behaviours or work system failures? If you don’t, you should.

Free and fearless communication can drag into light organisational ‘log jams’, as well as poor behaviours, and is the best protection against unhealthy practices, productivity shortcomings, absenteeism and role burn-out.

Of course, in a healthy workplace, most of this can be done around the lunch-room table – just talking, respecting each other, and building that sense of common purpose that comes from ‘a committed, contented team’.

It’s not hard, but get it right and everybody wins. Getting it right is not only good for the workplace, morale and productivity, but simply good “for people”.

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