It is evident as we grow old, we start to lose our inquisitiveness and the desire to question. According to popular studies, people stop asking questions because they think their questions might be silly or obvious. Nobody wants to be considered a fool in a room full of people.
However, no curiosity leads to boring sessions and meetings in the workplace. To change this, several organisations are trying to build an inclusive and friendly culture so that their employees can ask more and assume less.
Every organisation is trying to come up with unique ways of making its workers communicate when required.
If a company needs to create a bond with its employees, the first step it needs to take is to communicate with them. To build a healthy relationship, employers have to take the steps needed to build trust.
How can you do that?
Promote a culture open to two-way communication, a culture where people can ask about anything without hesitating. This sort of an open, “Ask Me” culture helps support your coworkers and win their trust. It is a simple way to make it easier for them to ask questions whenever they need to.
Here are 10 ways to Promote the #AskMe Culture at The Workplace
1. Lead by Example and Don’t judge:
If you want your team members to communicate with you when they face any issues, you should take the first step. Most teammates expect their seniors to reach out to them for discussions regarding the progress of the company.It makes them feel valued regarding their opinions. Therefore, when you ask for their help and let them know that ‘we are a team,’ they become comfortable with you. Click To Tweet
Also, this collaboration makes it easier to develop a sense of mutual trust. In the future, if they face any issues, they will turn to you for help. The key here is to not judge the employee based on the question he/she might ask.
2. Sessions on #AskMe With the Managers
Organise a special #AskMe session involving everyone. The managers, leaders, or even the human resource team could host a session, on the lines of AMA to promote the culture for asking questions.
The session should allow everyone to share their questions without fear. The concerned persons involved should also give proper answers to the queries.
The main aim of this session should be to make everyone speak freely with their leaders.
3. Focus on the Initiative
Most people want to keep their curiosity to themselves to avoid embarrassment. The prime focus should not be the query but to make everyone feel comfortable. In the beginning, they might only ask safe questions. By showing interest and appreciating their questions, leaders can encourage them to come out of their shells and ask more.
4. Staying Available When Needed
This one can be difficult, but when you decide to create a bond with your teammates, try to be consistent in the process of communication. When your teammates reach out to you, just be there to listen and answer their queries.
At times, this may not be possible. You might be busy. Make sure you don’t leave them hanging and ask them to connect at some other time. Set a calendar if you want. This gives them a feeling of assurance and shows your sincerity.
5. Lighten Up the Mood
Several studies have revealed that employees feel free while connecting over some fun activities in the workplace. Many organisations have such sessions for everyone to bond over fun and games.
People often talk about their issues with someone who is fun and not authoritative. These sessions will show your fun side making everyone comfortable around you.
6. Brainstorming Sessions
Having a new project or a new client onboard? Try discussing your ideas with your fellow workers; after all, they will also be a part of the project execution.
If your organisation doesn’t have brainstorming sessions, then you should go ahead and arrange one. Discuss new ideas with them. Let your team share their thoughts. If you like some points, consider them, appreciate them, and give credit where it’s due.
Brainstorming sessions are a great way to bond with your teammates. It allows everyone to come together for one goal, i.e., the growth of the organisation, and furthers your goal of promoting an #AskMe culture at work.
7. A Channel or Portal for #AskMe
Many times, when it is about being inquisitive, people like keeping their questions to themselves. Everyone has their reasons – some might have had bad past experience, some might be naturally introverts, and so on.
Build a channel or portal for the ones who want to stay anonymous. Encourage them to share their questions. Try replying frequently. Even if it’s a digital portal, your answers should be genuine and helpful for everyone.
Make sure you don’t forget the mission of this initiative. Don’t reply for the sake of responding. Be elaborate when needed.
8. Employee Assistance Program
Invite experts and organise a program for your team. You can keep this interesting by having this as a monthly affair. Call health experts, psychological experts, or people who can talk about work-life balance. This shows your employees that you care about them.
With the help of these experts, you can also add some counselling sessions to your employees’ calendars. This again encourages them to open up and communicate.
9. A Meeting with the Head of the Department or Anyone in the Management
Once in a while, there could arise some problems which can’t be solved by the immediate seniors. In such cases, the guidance of higher management could be required.
The seniors must discuss any issues the employees might be facing or any queries they might have.
Make it normal to dedicate a day every month for them. Make it exclusive for discussions or even one-on-one meetings, whichever works for the organisation. The goal should be to make it easy for everyone to reach out to the superiors when necessary.
10. It Should be Employee-centric
No matter what you do or which method you adopt, make sure that it is employee-centric. No matter which training or sessions you conduct, make it more about them.
These sessions and discussions with their leaders often turn into lectures for the employees. Avoid doing this. If it is a discussion, listen more and talk less.
According to most people who work in the corporate setup say that most of these meetings and discussions have no output and are a waste of time. Because their leaders talk more and give them homework, like reading a book or listening to a podcast, or worse ask them to build a hobby that they may not even like. Such sessions end up in activity employees don’t enjoy as they feel the session isn’t for them.
The importance of #AskMe culture in the workplace is to make your colleagues comfortable and find the solutions together. Be approachable, be open-minded, don’t judge to encourage your employees to ask you anything.