Never, ever stop communicating.
We’ve stressed the need to communicate well with your customers, but what about your employees? I once worked at a company where the only time we saw the chief executive was when he was delivering bad news. Because our feedback seemed to die before it ever reached him and because he was the messenger behind so many negative reports, he was (perhaps unfairly) viewed as a remote and uncommunicative figure. That does not engender confidence in the direction of the ship, particularly if the business is struggling.
Communication is something we stress here at Direct Capital, and it tinges everything we do here. The CEO is visible and constantly involved, every executive is available if you need them and the team works closely together. I write this not to brag about the culture here, but to illustrate the power that has. No one is left in the dark about the impact of the new health insurance law, how successful the company is at any given time and what’s needed to reach collective goals. It’s all out in the open, and that dispels a lot of whispering and rumors on its own.
This should be the case with every small business. As the owner, you want to ensure you’re visible and communicating with employees. To give you a very short list of benefits:
- It makes employees trust you and the direction of the company
- You are aware of problems before they have a chance to fester
- You can learn more about your employees
- You’re more tapped into the daily work of the company
- You create a culture that fosters accountability and lacks rumors
These are all considerable pluses in my book. If employees feel like their voices are heard and that you’ll let them know when things are going well or not, I’ve always found that they’re more likely to buckle down and work hard for the good of the company.
How do you communicate with employees, and how often do you do it?
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