Does your Team really hear you? Especially at the moment the way we communicate has changed dramatically. With the initiation of many remote teams which are now becoming permanent fixtures to the companies they are employed by, we are having to change the way we speak to each other and the way in which we communicate across the world.
How we communicate is integral to how our people feel within a business, and therefore how they perform. Everyone is different, everyone likes to be communicated with in different ways so as a business leader, how do you ensure that your team is really hearing what you are saying to them?
Here are five internal communication checkpoints to ensure you maintain healthy communication throughout your business.
Find out how your team likes to learn and communicate.
Some prefer visual, some prefer audio or verbal. Some prefer pictures and diagrams. You can’t tailor communication to every single person in the team but if you’ve got a creative design team then maybe sending out a message which is more graphically oriented will communicate to them more effectively.
Ensure that any meant major changes are communicated in the right way.
Good news can be shouted from the rooftops, bad news may be better communicated individually through Team Leaders verbally. Think about whether you want to communicate verbally or in writing and the impact this may have. Do you want to produce a written piece which can be read again and again? If it’s communication that you may want to move on from quite quickly it may need to be distributed verbally. If it’s something that you want to congratulate the team for, written communication can be good so that people can see it, be proud of what they’ve done and potentially share their triumphs.
Timeliness of communication is important.
There is nothing worse than hearsay moving around in the office, rumours being fed and people talking about other people. If there is a major change, ensure only the Senior Management team knows about it and then a process for important communication is distributed to the Teams. The Senior Management Team needs to know how to maintain this information confidentially within the core group until you are ready to broadcast. Then how you broadcast should be decided, agreed and adhered to.
Communication with new starters within your business.
Especially if you’re a smaller company that is growing rapidly. There are many ways to on-board new people including new software or person-to-person buddying and mentoring. However finding out how that person needs to learn can be very important. There is nothing worse than having to sit and read pages and pages of text and when really how you prefer to learn and learn more quickly is via verbal or diagrammatic form. Being able to be flexible with your on boarding and teaching your new people in a way in which they learn the most quickly ensures that they come on board at the fastest possible rate and enjoy the experience more.
Finally encourage a 360° internal communication health check for your company.
360 means that Employees assess the Managers and Managers assess the Leadership team and the results are discussed. This can be completely anonymous. Or this can be done by interview and assessment by an external company. Quite often employees don’t want to tell their Managers that they don’t like their communication style. During a 360 assessment the results are an increase in communication, increased productivity, and therefore increase in performance, output and profitability. Click here to ask us about an internal communications health check for your company.
All of the above are communication processes. Accompanying this is ensuring the language patterns you use as best practice are tailored for a positive outcome. If in any doubt, ask somebody to check written communication before you send it or ask someone how you sound verbally. Even if you’re a CEO or a CTO especially at the moment, it's an emotional and challenging time. Take one step back and make sure your communication is up to the correct level to ensure maximum effect and company harmony.
Caroline Langston is the Founder of Successful Consultants Ltd, an Executive, Personal and Career Development Coaching company in Hong Kong and New York. She is also the Founder of recruitersgiveback.org a nonprofit organization providing free information and coaching to people who are unemployed. Caroline is dedicated to coaching people for success and happiness in their careers and lives. She is degree qualified with further certifications in Neuro Linguistic Programming at Master Practitioner and Coach level. She has completed 90 hours of training at International Coaching Federation (ICF) standards