Communication is a two-way process. Whatever your business, you communicate to get things done, give and receive information, negotiate and make decisions, achieve mutual understanding and develop relationships. You will communicate with your customers, suppliers, business collaborators and your employees … and communication with this last group of people can often go to the bottom of the heap.
There are always times when we get bogged down in day-to-day operations – we focus on driving sales, increasing revenue, meeting customer needs, making sure everyone is doing what they are supposed to. It is very easy to fall in to tell-mode with your team… in fact, this is where the term bossy originates from. But if you want your team to raise their game and use their initiative at work, you need to engage them, make them feel valued, make them feel that they make a difference within the organisation.
Most business owners already use their communication skills effectively to build and sustain loyal relationships with their customers and suppliers – this makes good business sense. We network, use social media, email campaigns and CRM systems to ensure that we achieve successful business outcomes, we get the best deals from our suppliers, our customers stay with us and our business does well financially
But when it comes to our employees, it can be very easy to focus on the negatives; payroll is too high, they are always on holiday or off sick when we are busy, you have to keep saying the same thing over and over again. Sound familiar?
OK, let’s switch this around. Your employees are your most valuable asset, but they rely on you for their livelihoods. They want your business to succeed for their own job security and if you show them that they are valued, the more involved they will be. This is not about pay or rewards but about effective communication and recognition: they are your internal customers and each team or department supplies information, services or products to other teams within the organisation. Listen to them, inform them, gain their loyalty, just as you do with your external customers and suppliers.
All the techniques you use with your external customers and suppliers can just as easily be applied to your internal customers and suppliers (your employees). In-company marketing can operate as effectively as external marketing in catching the attention of your team, engaging their interest, stimulating their wish to participate, convincing them to follow your lead and encouraging the behaviour you want. You can:
- issue regular newsletters that update staff on how the business is doing, key priorities or successes and achievements
- let them know about inter-team events, where employees can network with colleagues in other departments or offices or disciplines
- recognise individual achievements, such as birthdays, key events or successes with single employees or in teams
- hold inter-team competitions for the best ideas or business / process improvement suggestions
“But how can I do this?” I hear you say.
Alpaka is a simple, collaborative employee scheduling software package that also allows both you and other team members to design and deliver in-house marketing campaigns. You can edit simple email templates and schedule delivery by individual, specific teams or the whole workforce
Why not take the 14 day Alpaka trial and find out how you can get your team on-board and working smarter, helping you regain control of your time
There is a great difference in the ability to communicate and the ability to communicate effectively. Thus, it requires a person to have good communication skills as it can make or break trust, deals or even change your career.