Why Communication Could Be Your Business’ Achilles Heel
Poor communication limits your business’s capability to optimize performance. Communication is essentially the blood flow of an organization. It delivers the information to various people working with or within the business to get work done while providing a mechanism for building and strengthening relationships. It can be a significant factor in building company culture, which ultimately reflects upon your brand identity.
However, when there are poor communication lines in your business, their effects are felt across the board, and might even leak externally to your customers. Individually, your staff will feel disconnected due to the lack of clear direction from the management. This leads to decreased engagement, low satisfaction rates, and poor performance. Ultimately resulting in an overall lower output from the entire business. Your customers might pick up on this and take their business elsewhere. Let us look at the various ways in which poor communication might be your brand’s Achilles heel.
It Creates a Culture of Distrust
Trust plays a vital role in the success of any high-performing team. This explains why team-building activities are always centered on getting each member of the team to believe in the other’s skill and willingness to perform their job.
Ineffective communication; however, inhibits trust building and thus breeds a culture of distrust. When you do not communicate your goals and important events with your staff, they will eventually start thinking that crucial information is being held back from them. This creates an ‘us versus them’ mentality.
Confusion and Uncertainty
Effective top-down communication is what ensures that all your departments, their leaders, and employees are on the same page. However, when there is no clear direction, the role of departments and individual employees becomes uncertain. This results in a workforce that lacks priorities. The effects are usually inefficiency and a lack of productivity.
In other instances, confusion is caused by mixed messages. For example, a manager might provide a directional message today, then give an entirely different vision after a few weeks. Another instance is when front-line managers and top managers have different perspectives on how goals should be accomplished. This causes chaos which leads to uncoordinated or misdirected tasks.
The Need for Open and Consistent Communication
Blueline Rental, the 4th biggest construction equipment rental company in North America, decided to prioritize communication across the company in a bid to show that the company cared about the well-being of its employees. In doing this, the company was able to take its TRI safety score (which should be 1 or below) from 3 to 0.74, making it one of the safest companies to work for in a dangerous profession. When looking to improve communication lines in your business, expect numerous barriers, especially if you have more people in your company. Thus, instead of telling your staff what to do, offer them a clear line of site which details where they are headed, and their role in that objective. Address concerns promptly while ensuring they have access to all the information they need, whenever they need it. Moreover, involve your staff in your decision-making process by holding discussions to get their input. This makes sure they know that their opinions are valued. It is also why clinics use healthcare management specialists to facilitate communication. By enhancing communication in your workplace, you’ll have a workforce that knows where it is headed, and how it is supposed to get there.
Having a shared vision and mission is key to establishing consistency in your brand experience both internally and externally. If you notice some communication slip-ups at work, whether with you or your co-workers, don’t hesitate to start wondering what you can better do to improve the situation. Communication is key to most things in life, and so practicing and succeeding at it as a company will surely lead to improved employee and client interaction.