How To Defeat Rumours
All organisations should be committed to effective and efficient communication and when it comes to the complaint from staff that communication is poor, the knee-jerk reaction is to just communicate “more often”.
Staff need to give and receive information and be able to communicate effectively with leadership. When this does not happen the rumour mill goes into overtime and all sorts of irrelevant and unprofessional messages become the norm. Once this starts this is very hard to stop.
When employees and employers have limited communication, the result at all levels is that rumours become the norm. When not equipped with hard facts, employees will create their own communication, which is very often misinformed, misinterpreted and incorrect. Multiply that across different shifts, locations and perspectives, and you have a problem. That problem manifests itself into frustration, anger, demotivation and fear.
Always bear in mind that when there is a lack of clear communication, employees will create their own.
What is needed is a review of your communication strategy so that it uses a variety of different methods and levels within it to keep staff up to date and involved in what is going on.
So, how should your strategy look?
- Ask your team and wider groups how they would like to see communication improved.
What information do employees want from the company?
How often do they want it?
What methods would they like to receive it?
How would they like to communicate back to management at all levels?
- Set expectations to your team on appropriate ground rules, stressing that all communication should be conducted professionally and respectfully.
- Make a positive effort to link your communication with your overall goals. What are your team telling you about their ideas to improve performance and output?
Key topics here could include key areas of Safety, Quality, Delivery, Cost and Motivation.
- Draw up a clear tiered meeting schedule.
All-employee meetings (Monthly)
Team meetings (Weekly)
Shift Meetings (Daily)
- Design and publicise a standard for tiered meetings that clearly identifies what topics will be covered in each meetings. This should be accompanied by standardising the information presented to assure consistency to all employees.
Very importantly make sure that you publish the schedule of meetings and what will be covered in each of them and then firmly stick to it!
Communication is the lifeblood of a successful organisation and yet this does not have to be a difficult or troublesome process to deliver it.
For more details about our services visit the website www.davidsummertonconsulting.co.uk