HR consultants, in general, refrain from asking employees if the communication in the organisation that they work for is good, regular, clear, and most of all beneficial and inspirational.
The reason for the avoidance of this subject matter is that they, based on experience and research, can anticipate what the likely answer is – that the communication is simply bad and that in general, the workforce feels de-motivated.
The challenges, biases, and gaps in communication within the business sector between entrepreneurs and shareholders, Boards of directors and the CEO, Management and employees, and amongst the various “silos” and/or departments of larger corporations can be vast.
Diversity in the workplace, professional biases, different levels of education and awareness, variety of belief systems all impacts communication sometimes even in very subtle ways even when small teams are considered.
To highlight the dramatic impact that Communication can have on the performance of companies, sports teams, nations and Entrepreneurs think on the following:
- When Rugby teams lose comprehensively, often a lack of communication on defence, is highlighted as a key factor of their demise.
- When the general Job satisfaction in a workplace is tested as poor, employees often refer to poor and negative communication, confusing or infrequent communication by the Management team as a source of dissatisfaction.
- When team members within a high-performance environment hold a Leader in high esteem they tend to report that their Leader is a very clear, frequent, and inspirational communicator and backs that up by action.
- History teaches us that when a total breakdown and failure in communication occurs during negotiations between nations a devastating war can result.
Tinie Krugel the owner of KMJ Implementation Consultants and serial Entrepreneur, told the writer that communication is a key factor in ensuring a productive and motivating atmosphere in any working environment or business set-up.
Tinie emphasized that it is not only what you say that is important, but how you say it, and what impact that has on how the team members feel after the engagement. How people feel after hearing the Leadership speak can drastically impact the effect on their performance afterwards.
He says that a common challenge within organisations is that communication from the top management structure usually does not go past the supervisors. This can result in mixed messages or wrong information being received by employees. It is therefore crucial to have all employees attend meetings or events where they hear the Leadership speak first-hand.
To give all team members a voice, make them feel that they are being heard, and allowing them to make a positive contribution to something larger than themselves as individual team members can contribute to a motivating business environment.
Tinies’ rule of thumb is to in general, find at least four “positive “aspects to highlight for each “negative” one mentioned when engaging team members. Additional sound advice from him is to have team members take part in problem solving efforts in a creative way and demonstrate that their input is valued at all times. Show through the way that you communicate that you care about all team members as people.
He advises against using e-mail as the main source of communication within a business environment as it can be interpreted in as many ways as the amount of people reading it.
Open, positive, and personal communication where a feedback loop is a prominent part of the system is to be advised, then it is relatively easy to assess how the communication was received.
When designing your communication strategy consider that Leaders and Entrepreneurs in general must be able to verbally “sell” their Vision and values with a high level of enthusiasm to all stakeholders including employees and investors. Excellent communicators are wonderful story tellers and can inspire others to become Leaders.
In summary, communicate frequently and in an inspiring way. Win your teams’ hearts and minds by “selling” your Vision and values to them with boundless enthusiasm. Focus on the positive yet do not shy away from the negative. Address all employees under one roof as often as possible. Ensure that there is a feedback loop and a platform for all team members to voice their opinions. Demonstrate that you care about all of your team members and make them feel good in general in a sincere way.