You can beat the Challenges of Creating Sustainable Growth through Effective Communication
In my experience, I have learned that effective communication within an organization has three parts:
Systems and processes to trigger communication
This is where you layout who needs to know what and when. This can be done through meetings, reports, reviews, newsletters, etc. These communication triggers happen on both the micro (Manager to Employee, for example) and macro (organization wide) levels in order to create ways for the correct information to flow to the right people in a timely manner.
Technology to facilitate effective communication.
Centralizing the flow of information is one of the most effective ways of ensuring that the right people get the right information at the right time. Using technology to pass information through the organization is a great way to help create effective and productive communication. Technology can be anything from email and a website, to full Content Management programs (either out of the box or customer created).
Personnel equipped to implement the information
It is not enough to simply have a strong and consistent flow of information: you also must have the organizational structure in place to allow the information to be used as an effective tool. Personnel must be taught how, when, and where to use the information, be given the proper tools to implement it, and be held accountable/rewarded for meeting deadlines, following through on instructions, etc.
Organizational Communication may seem like a big business problem
I have found that internal communication issues plaque small businesses, even more drastically than within large corporations, often with disastrous results. Large corporations know that communicating a message to employees throughout their vast network is hard. They plan for this hardships and implement plans to solve the issues. Unfortunately, most small businesses think they are immune to such issues, because they are in close proximity and constant contact with their employees. I have seen small organizations with as few as three people be brought, almost to their knees, because of communication issues.
Communication is not about speaking, handing out tasks and orders, or weekly staff meetings. Communication is about being able to move an idea forward.
Do you feel like you’re having the same conversations over and over again with your staff or business partners? Do you feel like you’re in a constant state of planning, moving from one idea to the next, but never able to see the plans fully implemented? Or perhaps you feel like your instructions are never followed through on and that nothing gets done if you’re not intimately involved in the process? Most small business owner’s first response to such issues is to think that they have hired the wrong people. Talking with struggling owners, I often hear complaints of incompetent or uncommitted staff. On the other side, talking with the staff, I hear complains of a micromanaging owner, and confusion about expectations or requirements of projects, duties, and priorities. Normally, I find that both owners and the staff have valid points, but at the root of the issue is a communication problem. Sure, there are a lot of words being thrown around, but very little of it has to do with actual communication.
In order for information to be utilized it must accomplish four things
It must be specific
It must be measurable
It must be relevant
It must be timely
HOW WE HELP
Create systems that help insure information can be sent, received, and utilized
Increase your teams effectiveness at accomplishing tasks and meeting deadlines, while you get to take a back seat approach
Create systems that make it easier to check on progress, identify issues early on, foster accountability, and reward success
Keep staff informed about all aspects of your business, so that they understand how their roles fit into the bigger plans and objectives
Create policies, procedures, and expectations that set a clear standard and help foster excellence, commitment, and a passion for the work
Give everyone a common purpose that defines the work they do