Guest post from Chris Harper


This weeks’ post comes from a good friend and colleague, Chris Harper (@thatChrisHarper).  He’s got a lot of great ideas about how companies can improve the way they communicate, both internally and externally.  Chris took a few minutes to share some of his thoughts… with more to come!


What’s going on around here? – a case for good communication

We’ve all heard it. Many experts tell us that compensation and benefits are just not enough when it comes to job satisfaction. Instead, they say that things like good recognition are the most important to fostering a healthy work environment.

Of course, we all know that no one factor leads to job satisfaction—there are several elements to a happy, productive employee. But have you ever considered that communication might also play a role?

I believe that a strategic, well thought out internal communication plan for your business is vital to not only employee satisfaction but also your bottom line. Informed employees know about your product, ever-changing operational information and other vital information your guests or customers might need.

But uninformed employees are left not knowing answers or, worse, making up their own answers. Not only will this misinformation lead to confused employees and customers, it very well could lead to an unhealthy working environment.

That’s why it is important for managers to always keep communication top-of-mind. Better yet, building a formalized communication plan will help you to make sure that the right information is getting out at the right time. Just as you might spend time developing an extensive plan for communicating externally to the media or directly to your customers, time should be spent on an internal communication strategy will enable your employees to know what is going on so they can provide the best level of service possible.

As you build your plan, be sure to consider the following categories to help you get started:

Communication vehicles

  • Ask yourself: “How do my employees get the information they need?”
  • These can be physical tools (such as bulletin and dry-erase boards or handouts), electronic tools (such as intranets, social media and digital signage) or verbal tools (such as preshift meetings and supervisor/employee one-on-one time).
  • Use a variety of vehicles to best meet differing preferences between your employees.

Content

  • Ask yourself: “What do I want my employees to know?”
  • Your content could include operations or procedural changes, guest or employee event information, safety reminders and guest service tips.
  • Additionally, as you build marketing plans for new products or services, be sure your employees know the points you want them to hit when they are interacting with your customers.

There are of course many more facets to a strategic communication plan, but these categories should get you started on thinking about your business’s communication. The good news here is that what I am suggesting is probably not going to take a reinvention of the wheel for you. You’re probably doing some of these things already. But I encourage you to start thinking about your communication and how the categories above fit together into a cohesive plan.

In future posts, I will to walk you through that a bit—it’s not as hard as it might seem.

Give me your two cents!

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