Why do I talk to my co-workers once a week and what has it taught me?
Conversations with employees and co-workers constitute and important element of an organizational culture. The type and frequency of such conversations depend on the size, style, and structure of the given organization, as well as many other factors.
I try to have regular conversations with as many people as possible. Sometimes, these are conversations over coffee or lunch, and we have fixed conference call dates for those working remotely. Although these meetings take up a lot of my time, I don’t regret a single minute spent on them, as this is an essential aspect of the functioning of our organization.
What are the topics of these conversations?
First, I’m interested in my colleagues’ current tasks, how they handle them, and whether they need any support.
I’m also interested in whether they see any need for changes in their work, the functioning of the team, or the way the given project is being implemented. Their positive and negative feedback is crucial to me, as it allows me to evaluate each cooperation on an ongoing basis and discuss particular areas of it.
However, work is not the only thing that matters. Although professional relationships are what primarily connect us, I also find their private life very important. Is everything ok with their health, children, parents, and their financial situation? Of course, not everyone wants to talk about this, so this topic should be approached tactfully and with proper sensitivity.
Stress, professional burnout, health issues, and family problems are all factors that significantly impact each person’s functioning, also at work. They are in no way signs of weakness, which one should be ashamed of, but rather experiences that accompany many people daily. This is the way of thinking that I try to instill in our employees, which I feel deepens the frankness of our conversations and allows them to be bolder in bringing up uncomfortable topics.
Our goal is to create a working environment where our colleagues feel comfortable and safe and can always raise their concerns with us, which will be addressed within our capabilities.
And now the last, but certainly not the least important aspect of our talks. I am often the one who needs something from my colleagues. I usually ask them for advice or for their opinion on technical matters, on the use and choice of technology, on solving a particular problem. I also discuss business and organizational issues with them
There is always a lot to learn, so I always try to get the most out of every conversation 😊