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August 28, 2019

How to Know When Communication is Essential


It’s important to realize that most problems in business today lie in the absence of real communication, and to understand the need to facilitate dialogue and “manage” conversation with employees and teams. As a result, you’re able to create shared meaning and move people to action.

Let’s look at 4 events or situations that often trigger the need for communication:

1. Business Changes

If there’s a change in the way business will be done and it’s going to affect employees, it’s important to tell them what’s going to be different, and what they need to do differently as a result. This applies to a broad number of situations, such as:

  • When leaders need to take specific action to accelerate business results (e.g., top-line growth, profits, etc.)
  • A change in business priorities, metrics, leadership, etc.
  • A change in organizational structure (e.g., merger, acquisition, downsizing, plant closing)
  • Survey results are not where they need to be
  • Need to create and dominate new markets
  • Operational changes to improve productivity, cut costs, etc.

2. Driving Behaviors and Actions

Internal communication is essential if you need to drive new or different behaviors—or culture change. Employees need to know what’s expected of them and what they need to do differently. This can apply to a specific business initiative or project, or to broader behaviors for the organization at large.

3. Celebration

Let employees know if the organization or individuals achieve specific milestones or wins that should be recognized. This keeps them interested, motivated and engaged.

4. The BIG “Oops”

Communication mistakes that can shut employees down (literally and figuratively):

  • Inconsistent messages
  • Talking at employee instead of with them
  • Communication delays—not responding quickly
  • “Spinning” messages instead of speaking truthfully
  • Breakdown in technology
  • Not telling the truth or silence
  • Using language employees don’t understand

What situations should you be communicating more effectively in?

—David Grossman

Click below to download—22nd Century Communications: Strategies to Deliver Cutting-Edge Communication, Engage Employees and Strengthen Reputation—and get key insights into the top 10 principles some of the best organizations employ to ensure their communication strategy is a positive lever in building a stronger business.

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