If you want to improve your business, reduce employee turnover, increase efficiency, and improve customer and employee satisfaction, start by focusing on just one thing: communication.
Communication in the cornerstone of our business culture. According to the Harvard Business Review, a failure in internal communication created catastrophe for some of the most well-known companies of the past like Nokia, British Petroleum (BP), and even Enron. In each of these cases, there was a lapse between upper management and the rest of the organization that opened the door to scandal and closed the door on great ideas.
Most employee turnover in a company can be traced to failures in internal communication.
– They do not feel heard.
– They do not hear the important messages from the top of the company.
– They are not made to feel important.
– They are micromanaged or overloaded with too much unorganized and un-important information.
It’s easier than you think you to minimize the damage that failed internal communication can create. Save your employees before they walk out the door and work on implementing strong communication tactics in your business or organization.
Discussion is important. Everyone in a company deserves to feel like they are heard. By limiting the discussion in an organization, you may be silencing amazing ideas from those who see the progress of the company every day. Provide a solid expectation of feedback without punishment. Constantly remind everyone in the company that listening is vital to success.
Training & Mentoring
A lot can be said for proper training and mentoring. You would not jump into scuba diving without the proper equipment, the knowledge to use that equipment, and lessons from someone experienced. In the same way, do not force your employees to fly blind. Set up comprehensive training and mentoring at the beginning of an employment term. Emphasize values and knowledge in the training sessions. Encourage open communication. Finally, renew training regularly and introduce new training programs for all employees so that they can renew and build new skills for success.
Create Successful Flows
Implement chains and systems that everyone can use to be seen/heard. Regularly test your chains of communication to ensure that the right message is reaching the right ears regularly. Set up regular meetings with upper management who can relay messages down the line, but implement messages in a clear way so that they cannot be muddled. Make sure everyone knows who is supposed to be listening to them.
Use Technology Wisely
There are some great tools out there to improve communication, but they can also be great hindrances. Avoid email overload by separating non-essential items into a newsletter, utilizing online file storage for documents, and sending information to those who need to know it, not those who don’t care. Using technology tools practically and constantly reevaluating them can help your retention of younger employees (millennials and generation Z) who are used to being heard and understood quickly and efficiently.
It’s important to understand communication, constantly evaluate it, and improve it. Every word that you have associated with your business is vital. Consider hiring a freelancer to improve the communication in your business. Personally, I consider everything from culture, to email standards, to lost opportunities when examining a business. This helps me create a great internal communications plan aimed at improving the success of a company.
Read this post to learn about the importance of an ideal job description so that you are hiring those people who will help encourage your internal communications plan along with improve the success of your organization.
If you believe you can benefit from consulting with me, have questions for me, or you simply want to discuss this post, feel free to contact me.