March 1, 2018
Open Lines of Communication
Many businesses spend lots of time on business strategy, tactics, marketing, writing policies, and procedures. Then what happens with their efforts?
Best practices companies take their effort and data and communicate it with their people. They deliver the message not just once, but they communicate it as regularly as needed to make it part of the culture of the business.
Unfortunately, other organizations create a beautiful 3 ring binder of data and place it nicely on the shelf in the owner’s office. I have been invited into multiple organizations because the leadership is perplexed as to why their staff just are not getting it. My first question is – what do they know about what the expectations are? The Goals, The Strategy, etc. I will almost always be told that this information was already communicated to them.
My follow up has more to do with validating they did not just hear the communication but understand how they fit into the plan. This requires two-way communication. These key strategies, policies, procedures, and plans can’t just be told to someone. They MUST become the fabric by which the organization operates.
Think of these as the operating instructions to run the computer. Without all the components working together, the computer just takes up space on the desktop. You can’t send a file to the printer. Your mouse does not move the cursor around the screen. You can’t receive or send an email and so forth. Strangely enough, if your PC was not working, you would immediately take action on getting a resolution. You would call a service tech to fix it. That service tech would get the devices all talking to one another, and you would be back to using your computer. What is happening inside the technology is that each device talks both ways. Each device not only receives the instruction but acknowledges it back so that no “Packets” of data are lost between the transfer from one device to the next.
The same needs to be true for your business operating instructions for your organization. All parts (data and people) need to be talking to one another and acknowledging receipt and understanding of the data. This creates an open communication culture. Everyone is empowered to not just acknowledge receipt but are encouraged to confirm understanding of the expectation of the direction.
This week you need to look at how open are your lines of communication between your staff, your leadership, your customers and your vendors. Explore this by asking simple, specific questions of team members about goals, actions, procedures which should be common knowledge to the members and find out what they actually know and understand. Find out how they best like to be informed of information. Do they like group gatherings to hear it or do they prefer a digital transmittal such as email or text?
By taking the time to understand the best ways to communicate you can bring greater results and thus more valuable to your business with little or no added expense to the bottom line.
How would you rate your company’s communication? Not sure? Call JKL Associates at (313) 527-7945 and let’s start a conversation on helping your company better communicate.
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