What does it mean to communicate in rhythm?
As a business coach, I often hear from owners and managers that the results from employee engagement surveys in their companies indicate employees are unsatisfied with the amount of communication that goes on. Think of a moment in your own company where a defect resulted from a lack of communication. Something I’ve seen, for example, is implementing a new marketing program or coupon, but your technicians don’t know about it and, therefore, can’t speak to it with your customers. We sometimes become aware of the offering when the customer gives us the coupon. This could be simply solved with better communication. Particularly, getting in a communication rhythm will help solve these issues preemptively.
Communicating in rhythm means we have a consistent and organized approach for connecting with our employees. To get better at this, the first thing you need to do is identify what you need to communicate to the company in daily goals, processes, and expectations. I put an emphasis on a communication process, because this can become crippling as your company continues to grow. Begin with the budgeted numbers or key performance indicators for your department(s). What is the daily number or departmental goal?
Next, communicate your goal. Communication within your team regulates the pulse of your company. It’s very easy for us in the service manager (or another leadership) role to know what we need in our minds. We have things we’re aware of, and sometimes we overlook the fact that we haven’t done a good job of communicating this out to our teams. There’s the saying that in the absence of information, employees will make up their own. Let’s be transparent.
We can’t forget about rhythm in communication: Rhythm means there are processes we are going to take a look at consistently. That rhythm might look like this:
- Annually — Performance reviews for your team members, so they understand how they are performing and to set the course for the next 12 months.
- Quarterly — A 100-day plan or quarterly plan where key initiatives or goals are set. This may take some of the bigger goals from the annual plan and break them down into bite-sized pieces.
- Monthly — All-hands or company meetings can be a highly motivational and fun way to celebrate success and share the upcoming goals and events with the whole team.
- Weekly— Consistent and planned training with your departments. This may involve more than one meeting per week for a department. Weekly communication also includes one-on-one coaching sessions. These are high-return activities and can have a very positive effect on the culture of your company.
- Daily — Daily huddles with your team, or at a minimum a daily touch with each of your employees, to see how they are doing or to compliment them on something they are doing well. Our industry is unique because many of our employees are often operating alone and away from the office. They can feel disconnected from the company.
These are all opportunities, built into your regular schedules, to communicate. Do your best not to reschedule or skip these regularly occurring communication opportunities in lieu of other work —remember, revenue is a byproduct of the process. If you keep these things up, you will see the results in the numbers.
What specific activities can you do to improve communication with your team?
Publication date: 5/17/2017