In an earlier post we explored the definitions of Leadership, Management, and People Skills. Among all the people skills, e.g., self-control, social awareness, and problem solving; communication is by far the most important. After all, what good is a leader, manager, or employee if s/he can’t convey basic information? As much as we may try we can’t read each other’s minds. That’s why communication is #1.
Information is the lifeblood of your organization. If information isn’t flowing in a regular, efficient, and predictable way you are starving your team of the very thing they need to adopt your values, purpose, and vision as their professional cause.
Here is a simple and effective way to set up communication within your organization.
Yearly. Once a year host a celebration for the entire team. Make it all about the goals you’ve achieved together, the goals and priorities for the new year, and a time to strengthen your emotional bonds. Whether your celebration feels like a business function or a flat-out party is up to you.
Quarterly. Every three months bring the team together in a business or semi-business atmosphere to discuss this year’s progress toward your goals and priorities—including financials. Spend 2-5 hours together sharing information, improving your plans, and figuring out how to do things better. Document your take-aways.
Monthly. This is the classic rhythm to conduct one-on-ones. It’s also the best time to share financial, operational, personnel, and educational details. Celebrate outstanding performance. Think: client champion of the month and major projects completed, as well as upcoming promotional events, etc.
Weekly. Start every week with 45-60 minutes of group discussion about your book, employee schedules, promotions/events beginning or ending, and news that affects everyone. It’s hard to get the whole crew together once a week so consider doing a conference call using a free call-in service.
Daily. Start everyday with a team huddle. Talk about your book, who’s working, and share any last-minute reminders. Use the daily huddle to help the whole team get into their client service mindsets. Feedback on performance should happen daily—as close to the example as possible. All good, of course.
Constantly. It used to be the only way to post timely information was on a white board. Use technology to communicate in real time, make documents available to anyone day or night, or start a new discussion. Dropbox and Google Drive are great for storing and sharing documents. Consider how social media like Facebook Groups and messaging apps can help with real time communication.