Four Communication Drivers that will Transform Your Business
A primary responsibility of running your own business is developing, improving and executing a strong communication strategy with your employees. Branding your business as a great place to work has significant benefits and your reputation as an effective leader will attract top talent to your organization. While identifying the traits that make a good leader may be easy, developing those characteristics is often a difficult undertaking. In some cases leadership comes naturally, but for most it’s a process of learning those skills, understanding their importance to the success of your business, and developing a strategy that constantly refines communication within your organization.There is a common list of traits that describe a good leader: vision, passion, inspiration, dedication, accountability etc. Those characteristics define a good leader, but how do you develop a reputation with your staff that includes those labels?Ask yourself these questions:
• Do you have a strategy that guides all of your internal communication?
• Do you know exactly what you want employees to understand, think about and do in response to your communication?
• Is your message consistently aligned with the vision, values and objectives of your company?
• Is communication a two-way process in your business?
• Do you measure the effectiveness of your communication?
• Do you use the results of previous initiatives to improve future communication?
• Have you taken the time to learn how your staff prefers to receive communication? (e.g. face-to-face, email, intranet)
• Have you delegated responsibility for communication to your top-level staff?
• Are all members of your leadership team delivering a consistent message?
• Does your communication strategy consistently incorporate the four communication drivers: Inform, Involve, Listen, Lead ?
Communication is by definition a two-way process. Your communication strategy must evolve and adapt over time, and to shape a strategy that is meaningful and effective you must incorporate each of the four communication drivers as appropriate to each situation.
Sharing your vision for the business with your employees empowers them to make decisions that are in line with company objectives. You should be as transparent as possible with respect to the goals of your organization so that your staff feels “ownership” of improvements that occur as a result of their efforts. In addition, if you consistently avoid talking about negatives in the workplace, your staff will grow complacent. But when you freely discuss potential pitfalls, employees will come to respect you more and work harder to prevent those issues from occurring in the future.
Companies with highly involved employees significantly outperform those where employee “buy in” is low. To achieve high levels of engagement, you need to begin by understanding what your employees are thinking. Collect feedback by maintaining regular communication with your staff both personally and by means of surveys and other types of digital discussion. Encourage them to participate freely and offer a means of anonymous submission to make sure you’re hearing what they need to say.
Many companies solicit input from their staff and then fail to analyze and act on it. It’s easy to just rely on your own opinions, but you’re overlooking the fact that your staff may often have great ideas as well. They’re on the front lines and can sometimes see opportunities that you can’t. If you open yourself up to the idea that your employees also have a vested interest in the success of the business, you may find that effective strategies often arise from that collaboration of ideas.
Business owners often spend so much time focused on data that they forget about the people who work every day to help boost the performance of the company. Consider spending fewer hours on spreadsheets and more time considering how to improve communication within your staff. You’ll quickly find that if you take a more active role in the professional lives of your employees, they will be much more likely to work harder in the pursuit of your vision.
It should come as no surprise that a key to becoming a better leader is not only improving your own skills, but also the skills of each person on your staff. After all, they are the people you have entrusted with the responsibility of helping to get your company to where you really want it to be.
For more information or to discuss your particular needs in this area with an
expert business coach, please contact me to schedule a complimentary initial
telephone consultation where we’ll provide a customized
12-point growth plan for your business.
Breakout Consulting, LLC
Dearborn, MI ∙ San Diego, CA