Last week, I wrote about the benefits of reverse mentoring when responding to digital change and generational gaps in the workforce. It also made me realize there was a larger conversation at play. When we implement forward-thinking initiatives to maintain standards of enterprise excellence, we are doing so to equip our workforces with the tools to meet the future.
Questions remain on how we create this more viable future. The “how” is not a simple answer. Let’s examine one key element vital to the creation of a successful future across all industries: communication.
My friend Deondra Wardelle, a visionary leader and a keynote speaker at AME’s annual international conference in Dallas this October, speaks about the importance of communication and collaboration across all levels of the organization. She shares, "No one individual has all the ideas. So we experience better outcomes when there’s collaboration and people work together. Those closest to the process often have the best recommendations for improvement; however, if their ideas are ignored and/or they feel like they don’t have a voice, their great ideas or creative solutions may not be shared.”
We all have opportunities to collaborate and improve communication. It is our job as leaders to cultivate environments where everyone feels heard and where we all genuinely listen. We can begin by promoting opportunities for employees to voice new ideas. Two years into an age of remote lifestyles, Zoom fatigue is indeed prevalent. So, now and then, we may host a colloquial chat room to visit with employees.
Communication also requires adaptability since modes of communication may differ as workforces evolve and change. You can dive into this further at our Workforce of The Future Summit. (It is not too late to join! Visit our website to register.) One thing that does not change across all generations, however, is the need to maintain a culture of respect.
Deondra further shares, “When communication is two-way, people are engaged, empowered and encouraged to share their ideas with the confidence that they will be heard. That’s when you start to see that rapid improvement because inclusivity and belonging are embedded in the culture.”
How do you nurture these two-way, engaged and collaborative channels of communication in your organization? How do you bring the best ideas forward? Reading your responses, which I do every week, I am awed and inspired by the stories, successes and challenges you share. Thank you for helping me share, learn and grow as a practitioner and a CEO.
As always, please stay safe and keep looking out for one another.