There are three things people never admit to being bad at: driving, sex and communication. In times of uncertainty, effective employee communication can make businesses stronger, more agile and better equipped to compete.
So why aren’t we all doing it? David spills the beans in this article….
Having worked with more than 100 businesses across all industry sectors here are our top 10 reasons why companies fail to engage their people, and a couple of thoughts on how the address them.
Top 10 mistakes:
- Acting like a postman – Do you focus all your energy on how you’ll deliver a message rather than what you want people to think, feel or do? Be clear about what you want to achieve e.g. create awareness, support or commitment.
- Dancing the ‘communication tango’ – Do you focus on your agenda at the expense of your audience’s communication preferences? Think about what will make your people take notice of your communication.
- Assuming a message delivered is a message understood – Have you forgotten the fact that people’s personalities, values, beliefs, and interests all affect the way they respond to your communication? Try using your words to paint a picture for visual people, and tell kinaesthetic people what the future will feel like.
- Mistaking broadcasting for communicating – Is communication a one-way street in your business? Give people time to consider what you say, and the opportunity to discuss or share feedback about important changes.
- Forgetting that leaders leak – We all look beyond what’s being said, and try to work out whether people really mean what they are saying. So it’s worth remembering that the words we use only account for 7% of the message – the remainder comes from our tone (38%) and our body language (55%).
- Measuring communication activity not impact – Are you measuring if your communication arrived, rather than how it changed people’s behaviours? Treat communication like any other business process – measure the cost, and the value it adds to the business.
- Thinking spinning is winning – Today, employees can see spin a mile off! Authentic leaders create trust and loyalty by telling people what’s on their mind, not by giving rose-tinted messages.
- Creating communication collisions – Do your communication activities collide, clash and confuse? By planning and prioritising what you want to say and when you want to say it, you’ll achieve greater clarity around your business priorities.
- Assuming everyone shares your passion – Have you failed to share your vision with your people? People need to understand how you see the future and why your business is such a compelling place to be.
- Inconsistency breeds indecision – Your team leaders may well be 100% committed to business priorities, but are they the right priorities? Leaders and managers all need to sing from the same hymn sheet, using team conversations to ensure everyone is on plan.
CommsQuest helps organisations of all sizes to engage their people through the art of clever communication. If any of the above issues ring a bell with you, give us a call.