At the end of the day, nearly every business interaction requires a connection between people. If you don’t make space for communication, you can be creating a problematic relationship and limit future interactions. There are several methods of communication that can work well and a few that can backfire on you, despite your best intentions.
Not Making It Two-Way
Memos are a helpful way of making your people aware of unchangeable, known facts. If a portion of the parking lot will be closed off, sending a memo is a good option. However, memos aren’t a good method of connection as they’re not two-way communication. It makes little sense to hire competent, qualified people and not get their input on important matters that affect the business. Good two-way communication can actually expand your ability to serve your industry and clients, so prepare for feedback, and put it to use.
Ignoring New Technology
New technology can make communication quicker and much more responsive. If your employees are struggling with a challenge and need your input, waiting for you to respond to an email can lead to serious downtime and cause long-term damage to a customer relationship. Face-to-face communication isn’t always possible, but a Skype meeting can give your new client an image to remember instead of just an e-signature or a voice on the phone. There are a number of reasons many businesses are now using mobile technology to communicate. It’s important to maintain professionalism when using mobile technology, however.
Poor Communication Is Expensive
An organization that chooses to ignore the many communication options available can be crippling their biggest investment: their employees. If gossip and rumor are a problem in your organization, take care that you’re not feeding it by denying your employees information. Gossips have little power when employees can get the information they need from the source. Poor communication can destroy employee buy-in. It can also hit your bottom line. Businesses of all sizes lose money every year when employees have to spend their days confirming, questioning, or wondering exactly what their next task is.
Leaders need to understand that employees often don’t have a 30,000-foot view. Employees need to be willing to ask questions, sometimes at many different points in a project, to fulfill their assigned task. If communication is open, relationships can grow strong enough to withstand the occasional miscommunication. In the end, good business connections are all about relationships.