As companies, we invest so much time in communication outwards, to our customers or potential customers. But, actually the most valuable conversations we should be having are within the organisation, to the heart and soul of your company, to the employees that work within.
Company culture resinates in everything you broadcast. If your employees feel valued, truly great things start to happen.
Behind every great business, is a great company culture.
People often mistake that flash offices, high salaries and bonus benefits are what creates a positive work environment; all of these things will of course help boost employee moral but without the most important (and free) offering of respect and appreciation of each and every person, no flashy gift will solve the problems within.
At its worst, this can result in an unhappy work environment, high turnover in staff meaning high costs of training to the business and lower efficiency, resulting in an all round costly repetitive lesson.
So if the answer is free why do so many businesses completely miss the mark? We’ll outline 5 different communication barriers and how to spot, and overcome them.
The sticking point
The infamous point in internal communications where information is filtered down through management. But the problem? People forget to pass down the message, they forget important factors, they forget to relay the why and just impose changes. The list goes on!
There are so many issues when it comes to simply passing down messages through a funnel based on hierarchy of roles. We’ve all played Chinese whispers and we know how it ends, so why do we still try to manage our businesses in this way?
When messages are not passed down the production line effectively it can cause tension within the business.
So, what are our other options for distributing important messages through a large corporation?
Why not try a Vlog update sent directly to emails and aired on screens in the workplace that come directly from the decision makers.
Video is a great tool to add personality into the corporate world, working to convey the passion behind messages to those who the changes will directly effect.
The Silo Mentality as defined by the Business Dictionary is a mindset present when certain departments or sectors do not wish to share information with others in the same company.
It’s up to the executive leaders and management in the business to help break down this destructive barrier in an organisations communication.
Most people become frustrated with the company they work for when problems have been identified, but they feel as though they can’t do anything about it. It falls to the leadership team to recognise this issue and create effective long-term solutions to counteract this idea of an ‘unheard and undervalued’ workforce.
If changes are being decided on in the head office, but they’ll effect all branches worldwide a clear consistent message needs to circulate through business.
Often, just translating one press release to all regions and hoping the message doesn’t lose clarity doesn’t work to the companies best interest.
Language as we know doesn’t always perfectly translate, but you also should consider cultural difference when relaying information across seas.
Discuss how employees in different branches like to receive information and distribute it based on these results. Yes, this will take a bit more time however the benefits will massively outweigh those costs.
Coherence in messages and actions
Mixed messages can cause any relationship to break down. Ensuring your management team share the same ethos as your company culture is important.
If managers react badly to other staff members bringing their concerns or general opinions forward, then how can they ever make a difference in their role? Look at your business story, what’s your message that you’re broadcasting to the public?
This needs to run through the core of your company, meaning it needs to be practiced day in, day out in every office that represents your brand name. If not, you’ll end up with not only a confused workforce but your external market will see straight through the smoke and mirrors.
In the words of Richard Branson, “Clients do not come first, employees come first. If you take care of your employees, they will take care of your clients.”
Lack of follow up
If you’re building a culture that builds all employees up to believe that their opinion matters, don’t ruin your hard work by not following through with ideas that come out of this open communication policy.
Basically, don’t be ‘all talk’ or your employees will lose faith in the culture, and maybe even the company as a whole.
Not all issues can be resolved easily, however making small changes to make daily work life happier for all will only benefit the businesses efficiency and as a result, benefit the bottom line.