Do You Have a Failure to Communicate?


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Failure to Communicate

“I didn’t know about that”, “why isn’t there enough staff working today to take care of this rush?”, “she never said anything about it” or “why didn’t they tell me to do it that way?”

How many times have you heard comments like these from your staff? Do they sound familiar? And if so, why?  What are you doing wrong in your business that prevents the sharing of necessary information to your team?

Here are two reasons why:

Changing of Policy or Procedure

Did you recently change a company or departmental policy or procedure? How was this change put into action?

  • Was it sent out in a memo?
  • Was it told to just the department heads in a meeting?
  • Was it written on company letterhead and posted on a cork board in a hallway?
  • Was there a specific date and time for it to be put into action?

How can you be sure that all employees are aware of the changes without doing the following?

  • A written notice of policy/procedure change is given to all employees
  • A general or departmental meeting is held with all employees where the changes are described, explained and reasons for the change are given
  • Appropriate training is given to employees in order to be fully proficient in the new procedure
  • If appropriate, additional staff or management presence is on hand to monitor the staff’s compliance of new procedures and readily available to assist in order to satisfy a customer’s need or understanding of changes

You Thought Someone Else Would Take Care Of It

How many times did something “fall through the cracks” because you thought another co-worker was going to handle it?

Just as with other business tasks, there must be a clear-cut chain of responsibility as to who will complete any given assignment, especially one that is important to the success of the business.

In your absence have you identified who will send out the employee schedule?  If you will be in a last minute meeting with your boss have you assigned someone else to meet with, or reschedule, your 3pm interview?  You thought your fellow manager was going to tell the staff to come in earlier tomorrow but she never did.

These are real-world examples of how things get forgotten or overlooked only because there was not a clear channel of communication between all parties involved.  This is the easiest way to hurt your business…and also one of the easiest things to fix.