For today’s hungry businesses each competing for a slice of the pie, strong communication is THE most important tool. With a minefield of systems, workload expectations and (sparkling) employee personalities in place; the art of clear communication remains a key strategy where long-term success is concerned.
While there are some workplace scenarios that seem to have a predictable ‘cause and effect’ outcome, when it comes to straight-talking, it appears business owners experience one common struggle: candour (a.k.a real talk.)
How Miscommunication is Affecting Your Business
Did you know that more than 80% of employees indicate how miscommunication occurs within their work environment on a regular basis? But here’s the thing: Business communication should always be transparent and simple if the goal is to avoid miscalculations.
Where managers and team leaders venture into problems is when opinions are not heard, or worse still, these opinions don’t get voiced at all. When certain issues arise and build to breaking point, often the only way communication happens is out of pure frustration – not ideal when you have a business to run.
In particular, SMEs can relate to poor communication being the root cause of a much wider scope of problems – including lack of honesty when it comes to their level of employer-employee discourse. This is why regular feedback is such an integral part of optimal business management, and why employees must have a razor-sharp understanding of what’s expected to be able to maximise performance and targets.
However, it might not always be the employee who’s at fault. Perhaps you’ve assigned a number of tasks and those tasks haven’t been executed correctly. But consider this: What if your team never received the necessary feedback in the first instance? Game-changer.
Introduce the ‘Feed-Forward’ Concept
On the topic of feedback, American leadership coach Marshall Goldsmith verbalises this perfectly. He once said: “Feedback is dead. Feed-forward is key.” Eloquently put, and such a simple concept to grasp.
With ‘feed-forward’, the idea here is for you to communicate directly with your employees and explain what’s working, what's not, and most important of all – what could be improved next time? These are all solid questions to discuss in order to avoid making similar mistakes in the future.
Poor communication – or lack of altogether – can be avoided by using a tactful approach. As a business leader, it’s essential to practice honesty with your employees, even if this requires occasional confrontation. Ask yourself, what can you do to address the smaller issues before they ultimately erupt as a much larger problem?
Employees who are the best fit for your company will surely appreciate your honesty and guidance. They will even welcome ‘feed-forward’ suggestions and take relevant action steps in order to solve the problem at hand. Once you put healthy communication into place your workforce dynamic will start to shift, which will also benefit your company moving forward.
The key to less stress and miscommunication in business? Learn to catch mistakes as they happen, make adjustments and correct those mistakes with regular team meetings or feedback sessions.
Connect with Peter Boolkah – The Transition Guy
Whether your management team is currently facing similar challenges, or perhaps your employees make frequent mistakes and you’re not sure how to strike a balance. Get in contact at Boolkah.com and let’s identify how to eliminate the frustration from your company communication. Don’t suffer in silence.
…and remember, failing to learn is learning to fail.