Active listening is an important aspect of effective communication in any organization.
It is more than just hearing what the other person is saying or listening for the sake of replying. In fact, active listening is what enables managers and HR professionals like you to:
- recognize other people’s ideas and insights
- show respect, and
- have meaningful conversations with employees.
By practicing active listening, you’re not only bridging the gap between you and your staff – you’re also ensuring that everyone is on the same page, working together to achieve the goals of the business.
Let’s delve further into the importance of active listening, including the ways you can facilitate active listening to build a strong work culture among the team.
What is active listening?
Active listening is about paying complete attention, showing empathy and fully comprehending what the other person is conveying.
To drive success, every business leader should be skilled in active listening.
What is the purpose of active listening in business?
The purpose of active listening is to help both managers and employees understand various perspectives without being judgmental, gain the information they need to make the right decisions and establish healthier workplace relationships that last.
3 key reasons why active listening is important in building a strong work culture
An organization with a strong work culture is one where employees feel welcomed, valued and trusted.
Active listening plays a crucial role in building this strong work culture because it is what encourages employees to speak and be heard.
To explain this more, here are 3 key reasons why facilitating active listening is essential in building a strong work culture for your business:
- Active listening resolves conflicts and prevents misunderstandings.
It was reported that 80% of complaints and conflicts in the workplace were often caused by poor communication. These cases of misunderstandings and problems can be avoided if people know how to actively listen.
So, as a manager, you must always set a good example for employees by:
- Being a good listener
- Respecting other people’s views
- Having an open mind to their ideas and suggestions
In doing so, you will also inspire them to actively listen to their colleagues and other bosses.
- Active listening boosts employees’ morale and improves productivity levels.
It is by actively listening that you will be able to cultivate an environment where people are not afraid to voice their opinions, talk more openly with their teammates, as well as give and receive feedback as needed.
And as your employees become more comfortable in sharing their ideas and concerns, their motivation to contribute greatly to the achievement of the organization’s goals also grows. Stepping up, then, becomes easier for staff because they feel more emotionally connected and appreciated by the business.
- Active listening nurtures loyalty.
Statistics show that employees who are not confident or comfortable giving feedback to their managers or business leaders are 16% less likely to stay.
By facilitating active listening, you can address this problem and risk losing talent.
After all, it is through active listening that you can gain your team’s trust and take into account your employees’ opinions and suggestions.
So, how can you facilitate active listening in your organization?
When people in your organization practice active listening, you’ll be able to enjoy a strong work culture where teamwork, open communication and respect thrive.
But how can you ensure this? What are ways to facilitate active listening in your business?
Here are some tips to guide you:
- Limit distractions during meetings or conferences.
Active listening is all about being present. As such, when conducting meetings or conferences, remove things like phones, books or other unnecessary documents that can be distracting to you and your team.
Make sure your mind is also not occupied with other matters, so you can fully take note of what is being discussed at hand.
- Be attentive and ask follow-up questions.
Show your colleagues or employees that you’re not just simply listening but also taking note of important details.
Asking questions is also a good way to let them know that you’re invested in your conversation and you’re eager to fully understand their point.
- Do not rudely interrupt people when they are speaking.
The point of actively listening is allowing your team to be heard. This is why it’s important not to cut them off, especially if they are passionately voicing out their thoughts or opinions.
Give them the opportunity to express their ideas first before sharing your own views or asking for clarifications. Make sure to also use proper body language, letting them know you’re listening intently. This can either be through nodding, smiling or giving polite reactions.
- Establish an open-door policy.
Encourage open communication by letting employees know that they can freely approach you to talk about important matters, share their concerns or discuss ideas that are value-adding to the business.
This enables you to show that you respect all staff regardless of their position in the company. Being receptive to their suggestions can also help in decision-making as it enables you to understand employees’ points of view.
- Gather feedback and conduct surveys regularly.
Surveys and feedback systems are also effective methods to continuously facilitate active listening.
They serve as avenues for employees to communicate concerns, issues and feedback in an accurate and anonymous way, allowing you to also be more informed about your team’s sentiments.
Fortunately, there are innovative platforms like VibeCatch that make it easier for you to prepare feedback polls and surveys for employees.
VibeCatch empowers you to actively listen
In the digital age, data is king, and regularly measuring your employee engagement and well-being levels equips you with valuable insights that can enhance your work environment for everyone.
At VibeCatch, we offer the ideal way to proactively listen and communicate with your team so you can foster healthy relationships and reduce the turnover of your best employees.
Built on science, our platform collects frequent and anonymous feedback from employees and delivers an automatic and clear breakdown of the results to help you make smarter decisions for your people.
What is VibeCatch?
VibeCatch is an HR platform based on 15 years of proven research, offering you the opportunity to make a genuine difference and understand the impact that your working environment has on your staff.
Through VibeCatch’s QWL Polls, Pulse Polls and 360 Feedback Polls, you can uncover hidden staffing opportunities, correct issues and address areas of improvement for both employees and management within your organization.
Speak to our team today to see a live demo.