If you think about every job ad you’ve ever read or even written, there’s probably just one common denominator. From that high school job in your local fast food restaurant, to your current professional position, there’s one attribute that’s always required. And that common denominator is the need for strong communication skills.
The same goes for businesses. Good communication practices are at the heart of every successful business. While in companies that struggle, you’ll often find communication issues are at the root of problems for managers and employees alike.
Poor communication leads to business inefficiency
Without smart internal communications, inefficiencies prevail. Work processes slow down and labour is poorly utilised. You’ll find some employees having to burn the midnight oil, while others have little to do. Some tasks are duplicated, while others just don’t get done at all. Customers have a poor experience.
Furthermore, poor communication is a major factor in the vast majority of workplace health and safety accidents. Staff members become increasingly unhappy, which leads to progressively higher employee absenteeism and turnover.
If you’ve been in the workplace as long as I have, you’ve probably had first hand experience and know the personal consequences of poor communication. Has a throwaway comment from a manager or colleague played on your mind? What about not being invited to a social gathering or an important meeting? Even when done unintentionally, these things can have serious repercussions for your confidence and your commitment to the business, your colleagues and the job.
In many companies, managers simply assume that communication happens without putting even simple mechanisms in place.
So how do you get your internal communications just right? How do you ensure information is dispersed and clearly communicated throughout your business?
Remember, communication is a two-way street. Just because you have delivered a message, in person, via text messaging, or email, it doesn’t necessarily mean that your employees have understood it. Much can be lost in translation when it comes to text messages or even emails. Who was it that said, “Don’t communicate to be understood; but communicate so you’re not misunderstood.”
And I think that’s a great way of looking at it. Make sure your employees heard what you meant them to hear.
Less is more
Smart communication is not all about endless talking, scheduled meetings and long-winded emails. In fact, less is certainly more.
Smart communication can be as simple as regular short updates to keep everyone in the loop on everything from the company goals, to the latest big (or even little) wins, to when new products and services are about to be launched.
Smart communication is also providing the means for all staff to share links to great articles or interesting stuff that’s happening in your industry or your locale that would be of interest to colleagues. Simply giving your people the opportunity to have a voice can lead to great discoveries.
Of course, we’re big believers in the power of communication here at Deputy, and we use our own platform to communicate with our team. Everyone here has the opportunity to post announcements in our News section and if there’s a celebration, a social event or even cakes in our boardroom, we all know about it. Creating a great workplace culture is dear to us and something we are keen to protect and enhance.
And it’s something our customers also really love about Deputy.
For instance, the team at Gelato Messina makes full use of Deputy’s messaging tool. Messina’s director and co-founder, Declan Lee says, “The messaging tool is proving to be a great way for us to communicate and publish all staff messages and announcements. As every staff member has their own Deputy login and can access the platform from their mobile devices, they are able to view company-wide and store-specific announcements anywhere, any place. On a practical level, this means that our staff members are alerted to anything that’s happening that day before they even turn up for work.”
Likewise, Steve Caunt, from C1 Speed Indoor Karting also loves Deputy’s messaging tool. He says, “Keeping staff up-to-date with messages and announcements used to be a big issue for us, particularly when we would only have a handful of staff on during any given shift. With Deputy, whether it’s messaging one individual, or the entire team, communication is simple. Any messages broadcast from the Deputy platform are automatically diverted to each individual staff member’s mobile device, so they are always in the loop.”
Encouraging smart communication within your team has many benefits. Employees feel better connected to their teammates, they are in synch with the company’s goals, and also know what is expected of them.
In short, employees feel more connected, more valued, and it will foster a healthy company culture.