Do you remember playing ‘Telephone’ when you were little? A message was passed down the line, whispered from person to person, and by the time it reached the end, the message was so different from the original that it had everyone giggling hysterically.
In the corporate world, trying to communicate with an enormous team can be exactly like playing Telephone… Only most of the time, it’s a lot less funny, and a lot more damaging.
So, how do you streamline communication? How do you connect the disconnected?
Make these five things a part of your daily culture, and communication is sure to flow:
- Build Trust: Be kind, be honest, be positive, and be open. Employees must trust their managers and company leadership for communication to occur. Honesty, transparency, and consistency are the keys to promoting team communication and ensuring that hasty assumptions don’t cause rumors and unfounded fears to shadow every corner of the office.
- Give Recognition: An unwatered flower won’t grow. Say ‘thank you’ for a job well done. Encourage peer-to-peer recognition. The best recognition is immediate, specific, and personal. Recognition empowers employees, freeing room for innovation, and lets them know where they excel. Recognition will not only enhance team communication, but drive employee engagement as well.
- Give Feedback: Feedback is the breakfast of champions. Give it as often as possible. Coaching and mentoring is essential if you want to engage your team and help them grow. If feedback is a regular occurrence used to spark discussion in a positive direction, it is far less likely to be taken as unwelcome criticism. More on that in another post…
- Listen: Remember this simple rule: two ears, one mouth… Use them in that ratio. Listen to what your employees have to say. Make their opinions matter; chances are they have excellent ideas about how to improve the company. Don’t drown them out with your own thoughts and ideas. Sometimes, to simply sit back and listen is the best gift you can give yourself and your organization.
- Share Your Vision: Help them see the forest through the trees. Make the company’s goals and mission visible everyday. Make sure every employee understands his or her role within the company and how it will contribute to achieving the company’s vision. With a clear vision in place, employees will be able to communicate if and when the company strays from goals, and how to get back on track.
Making these five simple communication-enhancers a part of your daily routine will ensure that your employees feel valued, and that your company has the necessary tools to excel and succeed.
Don’t play ‘Telephone!’ The most effective communication is not passed down from one person to the next, but is open and flows throughout. Leadership is essential. The team will follow your cue.