What specific recommendations would you make to improve communication so employees feel supported in asking for help when they need it and admitting when they have made a mistake?

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Communication in the Workplace

Effective communication is fundamental for team success. Employers need to support staff and instill confidence in the team. Team members of various backgrounds and experiences must come together to accomplish specific tasks. All members must understand their roles as well as the goals of the team. Therefore, it is vital to minimize communication barriers between employers and employees.1

Environmental and personal barriers may hinder effective communication within an organization.1 Environmental barriers to effective communication include a lack of time for conversation, a lack of mindful attention to discussions, various management or organizational hindrances, or use of terminology that is not easily understandable.1 Personal barriers to effective communication include cultural beliefs of how communication should occur or an individual’s social perceptions of co-workers and/or management.1

Employers must recognize the existence of environmental and personal barriers to overcome them. Employers should acknowledge the importance of horizontal and vertical communication.1 An open-door policy is a great way to facilitate communications of all sorts.1 Adequate time, attention, appropriate language, and willingness to address concerns must be the priority of an employer with an open-door policy.1 Furthermore, the ability to communicate concerns with an employer should be easily accessible to an employee. By overcoming environmental and personal barriers, employers may gather feedback on new ideas, issues to be addressed, new goals, current progress, and potential enhancements to the organization.1 Effective communication within a team leads to better employer-employee trust, a boost in office morale, and improved productivity.1

Working on a team may often lead to the need to strengthen a member of the team during a time of weakness. Mistakes are bound to happen. Though minimizing a mistake is the goal, mistakes are inadvertent parts of life. As an employer, it’s important to give and encourage feedback without fear of reprimand.1 Additionally, it’s important to express non-aggressive verbal and nonverbal communication during these incidents.1 It may also be helpful to apply the Johari Window method and offer supportive and constructive feedback to employees.1,2 Employers may also choose to disclose something about themselves to build trust.1,2

Effective communication occurs when barriers are acknowledged and broken.1 Communication is best when participants give and receive feedback. 1 This takes time, attention, and trust, but when communication is kept open, an organization will have better outcomes.1

References

1. Borkowski, N. (2016). Organizational Behavior in Health Care (4th ed.). Sudbury, MA: Jones & Bartlett Learning.

2. Harris K. The Johari Window: A Communication Tool to Improve Relationships. www.youmemindbody.com/mental-health/Johari-Window. Accessed October 25, 2020

What specific recommendations would you make to improve communication so employees feel supported in asking for help when they