Communication, communication, communication. I can still hear it…my volleyball coach asking us why we lost that last game. We all knew the answer; it was always lack of communication. We had the talent; we just weren’t loud enough on the court. It makes sense.
Now, what is one common response to what employees find lacking in their company or departments? Communication! How do you fix it? In volleyball, my coaches would try to get us to spend more time with each other or just yell at us that we need to talk more on the court (you can guess how much that helped). A lot of times, things need to start with good examples from the top. Employees want to know how the company is doing and stay up to date with changes that will affect them and their co-workers. Managers need feedback, and then they need to give their staff feedback too. It’s a chain. When the top utilizes effective communication, there is a much better chance that it will trickle its way through the company and increase employee loyalty.
I’m willing to bet that many employees in many companies have never met their CEO, CFO, or COO, and maybe no top managers. I’ve been lucky enough to work for two companies who found ways to enhance communication throughout the company. One example is a quarterly breakfast with the CEO (although it doesn’t have to be the CEO). Everyone in the company attends one breakfast a year, and the employees bring the topics that they are interested in for discussion with the group. Plus, breakfast is provided and who doesn’t like food?! A second example is a yearly company picnic. The company that did this had multiple locations with employees who were not generally in the office. The CEO made rounds to each of the locations’ picnics and the employees were encouraged to come to the office for lunch to have an opportunity to meet and speak with the CEO. These two examples are great ways to start opening up the communication channels at your company.
Does communication come up lacking in your company? What are you doing to fix it?