Communication is one of the most important skills used in our daily lives. Regardless of what part of the world we come from we all communicate on a daily basis and would be very lost without it. So why is it that when it comes to business companies experience difficulties in communicating to their employees?
Working in HR I have witnessed a number of different errors made from a business view point, especially in terms of communication. It is apparent that the single biggest issue that global businesses face is ‘over-communication’. Too often do companies use multiple platforms to reach out to their employees. This only ever over complicates the process and leads to missed or lost information. Your employees should be able to go to a single platform to find all the information they need – if your employees can’t do this it may be time to rethink your communication processes.
‘Over-communication’ can also arise from companies sharing too much information. Whilst transparency and honesty really is the best policy there comes a time when certain information should not be made public. This is something that differs from company to company as many directors and leaders have a different definition on what they perceive to be ‘important’ information. It is no doubt a grey area though. Determining what information should be shared and what shouldn’t is a discussion for another time.
It is pivotal that as a business the same consistent message is circulated. Again ‘over-communication’ can create a faulty system whereby individuals are ‘communicating’ rather than the ‘business’. This commonly occurs when two different directors or managers provide information that contradicts one another. This can have horrendous impacts on an employee and tarnishes the credibility of the message that the business is trying to sent. This is definitely something to be avoided.
So how are companies improving?
It has been the focus of many companies to establish a single point of reference for information. The majority of large global companies achieve this by using an intranet. This allows blog posts and crucial information to be circulated by all employees regardless of their title or position within the company.
Many companies like Facebook, Google, Salesforce and even Coca-Cola have made it a goal and KPI of the business to ensure that there is continuous improvement on communication from the business to it’s employees. This is measured against feedback via employee engagement scores which allows companies to see what is working and what isn’t.
Communication plays a huge role in an employees motivation and passion. Keep them in the dark and you will definitely have an uninformed workforce, or even worse, an unmotivated workforce.
The Takeaway Points:
Ensuring that your business does not ‘over-communicate’ is essential.
Make sure that the business is portraying one consistent message across only one mode of communication. Keeping your employees informed of what is happening will keep them engaged and in turn keep you business growing.