It seems a very simple action to talk to a colleague at work, but still, some of the main reasons for people to quit a job are lack of communication from the leaders or bad work environment between colleagues.
Most of us learned that an office needs to be formal and it is not the place for conversations you would have at a bar. I believe otherwise:
Many people spend most of they day at work, thus they should be able to interact in their own styles, without big barriers.
A friendly work environment can contribute greatly to efficiency and productivity and also in talent retention.
“I spend more time at work than at home with my family and friends… So I better have my colleagues as my friends”Office worker
Throughout my career, I have learned a few sentences that make a big difference on how people respect and appreciate each other. They may seem simple and common sense, but I see many seasoned leaders failing to do this basic actions. These simple sentences have a direct impact on overall office environment and can help to avoid unwanted talent to leave.
1. Thank you!
It is part of basic good manners to thank someone for something they did. It is even more important if that work helped you in any way. As a leader you should also be able to thank people on behalf of the group, team and company.
I have adopted a simple routine that is ending my emails with a humble thank you. I feel the need to say that because people often put a lot of effort in anything they do and that is something we should recognize every time.
2. How can I help you?
We live in a collaborative world – Alone we tend to perform worse than in groups. In an office environment we often become so absorbed by our own activities that we forget to look up and check if someone else needs help. Having someone that can at least listen to our concerns and provide us a different perspective can be extremelly helpful, so it might sound like a simple offer, but it can unlock a difficult moment for someone else.
3. I need your help.
In a similar way to offer help, we also shouldn’t shy away of asking for help. I have seen people getting really happy that you reached out for their support and they immediately make themselves available to provide you with whatever you might need.
It is a sign of emotional intelligence to know when to ask for help and in particular if you are part of a diverse team, this can be very insighful to expand your perspectives.
4. I think you can improve …
Giving feedback is a act of caring. Many people refrain from giving feedback, particularly, negative feedback because they fear that the other person might become disappointed or demotivated. However, in my experience most people value criticism if made in an appropriate way.
Most times, individuals lack the necessary outside-in perspective to judge and evaluate their own performance and those who really want to improve consider a great gift whenever they get feedback from someone else.
5. I appreciate you.
Obviously, we all like to be appreciated and recognized in whatever we do. In companies, we appreciate people less than we should, mostly because we consider that to be “normal”. I believe that even it might be part of each one’s job description it doesn’t hurt to say it out loud. The positive impact that those sentences might have in an individual is great and worthwhile.
Good communication is one of the key elements for a great office environment and contributes actively to talent retention. It seems common sense but it works and the best of it is that it requires no financial investment just a change in attitude.