This article talks about how you can or how you should stay in loop while at work. Let us first talk about why it is important for us to stay in loop? We shall later delve into understanding the different ways to stay in loop at work.
If you remember, even as kids we would always want to stay in the loop for everything. It could have been something that our parents were planning or something that your best friend was sharing with another friend apart from you. We all told secrets and we have all kept them too. As effective adults, we still want and in fact need to be in the information loop. And this is primarily because accurate, timely information enables us to be of some importance in a group. We could be encouraged to perform better. You can also choose to be in a pool of choices for your own convenience. Being in the loop also helps you think out of the box. Ethical issues can be dealt in a positive manner.
To sum up, what I have been trying to convey is that you should be in the loop so as to:
- Feel like a valued member of your team.
- Be excited about your role and feel motivated to do some great work.
- Help you make effective choices about your career line.
- Start initiating actions that help keep the work we do on track.
- Understand the goals and ideas of our workplaces. Including the mission and vision the firm sees.
So how do you know if you are in the loop? Do we always have a hang of what is happening in and around us? In an ideal scenario, your respective organization leaders would keep you in the know-how and inform you when major changes are about to take place. In many cases, you may not be receiving the right set of information that would otherwise make you happy, satisfied or successful. When such things are the case, don’t wait any longer for that empty space to be filled in by someone else. Just take charge and take the situation by your own hands. Let me enlist a few situations which will help you determine at a later stage when you are practically out of loop.
- You see a progressive change at the firm in terms of re-organization, new leader, downsizing, position change etc but you don’t seem to understand why?
- When you speak to your fellow mates about the future plan or path, all you receive is silence and discomfort.
- When your friends seem to react better to a situation in terms of culture and practices, you don’t understand why.
- Always remember, your best source of information is from the media desk
If you think you have fallen into anyone of the above situations then, don’t wait for someone else to be your informant. Get going yourself. And here is a list of things that you could do to stay in the loop.
14 Ways to Stay in the Loop at Work and its Importance:
1. Building your network:
How do you build network around you? And why should you do it? By doing so you know the whereabouts of the people with you. This will also help you in keeping them real close to you. So you are up to date with everything you need to know. Now let us talk about how you could do it. Firstly, ask people from your team and others to lunch out with you. Other thing you could do is, travel with your colleagues and peers in and out of town to the myriad meetings. Attend any social or corporate event organized by the firm, even if your presence is not required. Last and the most important aspect to this form of network building is to, have a close ear and look out for the culture and politics of the place you work in.
2. You should do your homework:
Do not procrastinate. Read the company newsletters, annual reports, internal and external affairs and magazines. Scan the internet, professional journals, business publications and newspapers thoroughly for industry news and standards. You should also perform the background analysis of the new CEO or VP. If your peers or colleagues don’t know it themselves, then quickly look up the blogs, or the company webpage for a bio. If your firm doesn’t support you with the web pages or any of the above mentioned, then ask around.
3. Detective you:
Do a little research on the firm and then make a list of things that you want to ask or clarify about the organization and its operations. You may want to ask questions like, what is the goal of the team two years from now. Or how is the firm planning to develop or expand? Or maybe what new products or services are being considered. Ask qualitative questions and gain perspectives from all the key stakeholders of your company. Speak with your veteran colleagues to understand your firm better. Speak to ex-employees and find out what made them take that step. Use the internet at its maximum. Listen to the entire rumor carefully. There could be a grain of truth in it. Again, don’t take it as face value but it is just your cue point to start your detective work.
4. It is a Bouncing Ball:
Staying in the loop and being at the edge of all matters can be a very tedious job and could need a lot of time and effort from your end. In this fast paced world, it could seem like a full time occupancy. Just when you would have assumed that you got a grip in the end, the management would have turned over or something new would have occurred. It may be as worse as the company being acquired by someone. And the worst part is, when people you trust give you the wrong picture about the company’s goals.
You need to be aware of the rumor mill. Just when you think you are in the loop, watch out! You actually got yourself glued into the rumor mill. We should learn by now that it is human nature to make up for something you don’t know. That is in the absence of information; we tend to make it up. Let me demonstrate to you a few mindsets and thought processes in the form of dialogues. When senior leader think this way – ‘It is too early to tell them about this’ the employees interpret it this way – ‘the silence is scary, it should mean that it is bad’. Or when the senior leaders think this way –‘this news is too frightening – we’d better wait’. Then the employees interpret it as – ‘they are moving the company to Panama’. Before you get the original version out, people are occupied packing their bags or attending interviews. Rumors are as dangerous as a knife. It could be the reality or it could be far from it. It sounds like a necessary evil. When you receive a piece of information, make sure you take them to your mentor, boss, leader or manager and validate the same. This will help you take wise decisions.
6. Why aren’t they sharing?
Sometimes you do know that people have information with them, but they simply wouldn’t tell you. And why is it that they are not sharing? It could be for the following reasons. That is, they think that you will spread, may be for the good or bad. Or they are concerned the way you are going to perceive this information. It could also be that they think you are least interested in such kinds of information or that it may distract you from your routine. Most of the times it could be that they think that the situation would change very soon or it could turn into something else before anyone know about it. It may also be that they are advised to be tight lipped about it. Sensitive information could involve parameters like – financial data that affect the firm, legal matters, salary, personal plans about resignation or retirement, succession plans as to who would step in next, lastly staffing or downsizing plans. Or it’s just that they are too busy to share anything.
When they hold information close to their vest, then you may try doing this. Tell them that you have little know how on what is going on and explain that you and the others were brooding over it. This could help you extract some information from the ones who want to hide it from you. Since it basically targets their curiosity; it is a reverse psychology where they are now keen on knowing what you know. It is also to tell them that your curiosity is not idle and that you have a real concern for the firm.
8. Pressing too hard:
If you think you are pushing this too hard, then don’t do it. It can be considered as a legitimate concern. If your senior resists you from giving you the information bypassing your honest attempt then, let it go. This means that you will just have to be patient enough to wait for another manager who would like to tell you all they know but aren’t at liberty to do so. And don’t forget such situations may arise to anyone, even you may be someday.
9. About giving information:
Brood over the thought – ‘When was the last time I gave information to someone close to me?’ May be the last time you gave information was a really long time ago. It could have been your manager or senior leaders that you shared information with, but do you also remember what they did about it? Hope they listened and acted upon it as required. Don’t give up yet, if you do have some good ideas, then go ahead and spread the news. You need to be heard. Offer suggestions, ideas and information. In this process you may also gain information from others who are with you.
10. Finding a mentor:
A mentor is a person who motivates and nurtures your thought process in terms of career. He or she can be a prime source of information on career opportunities. Mentors also help us in terms of personnel moves and shifts in culture and strategies. This person could also do things like help you with your paycheck troubles, spread word of your efforts and achievements within the company. This person therefore plays a vital role in providing you with the latest information of the firm. Keep you in the loop.
11. When you are abroad:
In today’s uncertain work routines, which is marked by massive layoffs it is important that one stays in touch with the firm’s employees and management to be up to date with the happenings. Realize that you may be compromising on career if you are not connected. So here is how you can keep in touch while you can still work abroad. Stay in touch with friends and colleagues to get different perspectives on what’s happening. Make sure you have copies of the new organizational charts. Attend at least one conference or seminar to catch up on all the gossip when you are home. Use the company’s intranet to stay update with all the happenings. Make lunch dates with important people when you are back in town.
12. When you work from home:
Freedom of working from home always comes with a cost. That is, you are not quite sure as to what is exactly happening on the floor in your team. Always reach out to your team with a phone call every day. That way they know that you are available and accessible easily. Connect to every single peer or team member with an email. This is also known as the informal networking.
13. Read your mail:
Make sure your inbox is neat and clean. Don’t let messages bounce out of your inbox because that is a sure way of isolating yourself. Being polite and replying to memos and e-mails in a timely manner portrays you as a responsible individual, making you approachable.
Having said that you should make yourself approachable, here are a few pointers you should remember for your well being. If the staff and management enjoy talking to you or working with you, they are much more likely to let you know something when it happens. So basically, be that someone with whom people would love to talk to.
We have now arrived at the conclusion of this topic. After using the above tips that has been elaborately discussed, you should be in the loop so much that you begin getting involved in all your local discussions and conferences. This would indicate that you are on the right track and would ensure you are being up to date. All of us have many different opinions as to how one should stay in the loop. In this article here I have tried to outline most features and characteristics that apply to the situation. If anyone of our readers or followers have anything to share. Please feel free to do the same and enrich the already existing content. Make the best of what you have got.