While many folks stand by the familiar saying "no news is good news," I’ve learned that doesn’t necessarily hold true in the business world. While it implies that everything is running smoothly and nothing has changed, frequent communication is essential to running a successful business.
At my company, TV Ears (www.tvears.com), I’ve found that sharing information with employees on a regular basis not only increases productivity, but also leads to a happier work force. To ensure optimal communication, I’ve concentrated on three tactics:
Announce news internally
More often than not, when an organization launches a new product or hires an executive, employees learn of this through a press release on the Internet. I’ve seen this happen many times and it often leaves staff second guessing their value to the company. Announcing news internally is just as important as broadcasting it externally. Staff members prefer to be kept in the loop on company developments, both small and large, and sharing such information internally makes them feel more respected. If you have a fairly large organization with numerous locations, consider setting up a company intranet where news can be shared or distribute a company-wide email before the public is informed. Employees will appreciate the effort put forth to ensure they’ve been brought up to speed. Having a system in place for information dissemination will also make certain that the news communicated is consistent throughout the organization.
Maintain annual performance reviews
While performance reviews may seem like a dreadful task, I cannot put enough emphasis on their importance. I’ve heard many folks admit that they are not provided with regular feedback which leaves them in limbo as to what actions can help them advance their careers. Performance reviews create the opportunity for managers to discuss with staff what they are doing well, what needs to be improved and the next steps in the career development path. Dedicating time to communicate with employees individually will ensure there aren’t any misinterpretations regarding responsibilities and will motivate staff to continue putting forth their best effort.
Make yourself accessible
In order for staff members to feel comfortable in bringing ideas, suggestions or concerns to the table, managers need be approachable. After all, communication is a two-way process and I’ve learned that ideas stem from all levels within an organization. If managers are accessible and encourage staff to share their thoughts, both the business and employee will benefit.
It’s critical to communicate with staff members on a continuous basis. Efforts such as sharing company news internally, keeping up with performance reviews so employees can track their career progress, and maintaining a management that is accessible to staff are all good business practices that will lead to success for a business and contribute to morale.