Are companies losing productivity in this new world?
24 Sep 2021
For business leaders, the balance between too much and too little communication with employees is often difficult to get right.
Some leaders communicate with their people frequently, with the right intention. However, the key is ensuring the communication is tailored to the audience and meeting their needs. For example, involving 60 people in a one-hour meeting with no real purpose, plan, or outcome is time intense and leaves employees puzzled about the intended learning. Involving everyone in everything is not only at risk of organizational inefficiency but ineffective when it loses the individual.
On the other extreme, leaving people to their own devices drives isolation and loneliness and a disconnect from belonging and being seen as a critical cog within the organization to deliver the company vision and mission.
So how can leaders get the balance right and ensure people are communicated with in a way that makes them feel positive and productive?
- Leaders must consider which information needs to reach which audience.
Does everyone need to be involved in a meeting or only those key individuals who will leave with actions and/or newfound knowledge? Who will bring the condensed outcome and core input to the individual and teams? From our experience, less is definitely more.
- Have a clear plan and purpose when it comes to emails and meetings.
Without an agenda or outcome productivity levels sink and employees are left feeling disconnected. Each meeting or review needs to have this clear, including the participant's role being spelled out beforehand.
- Get feedback from your team.
Are they engaged? Did everyone have the ability to participate? Has the meeting met its purpose? Ask for their input on what to do better next time, what you can do less of, more of, or differently. In a continuous improvement culture, the audience should shape the content to meet their purpose and make meetings value-add events.
- Set a good example.
Are you demonstrating the company values? Are you valuing the individual's time by making sure communications meet the audience’s needs? Are you encouraging an open exchange and feedback culture? Consider how your own communication style may impact others.