The GrowthGen Work-Life Framework – Communication
Communication in business is essential.
Imagine you’re a business owner with clarity. That means you have a clear vision of where you want to be. There’s one thing you need to acknowledge right from the start:
No one else will understand your vision like you do.
No one will share your picture of where you want to be in business and in life. So it’s your responsibility to communicate that vision clearly. From the beginning. Not just once, but a thousand times. That’s the only way people can understand what you’re trying to achieve.
Communicate differently to different people
Communication in business is not one-size-fits-all. Your vision is always the same, but different groups of people need different amounts of detail.
Your employees need an inside view of your full vision. Without the complete picture, they have to second-guess what you want. It’s harder for them to help you achieve your vision.
Clients need to see the big picture, but not necessarily the full picture. They’re purchasing a product or service, that’s the primary transaction, but they also need to see the inspirational part - what drives your company. This is what Simon Sinek means when he says ‘Start with your Why’. It’s really what’s at the heart of your marketing and branding. It’s what drives your company to produce such a great product, or deliver such great service.
You also have other business stakeholders – partner organisations, or suppliers. They need to understand your vision as well, but they don’t need all the detail.
4 ideas to communicate better with your employees
Communicating with employees can be a challenge for small business. Your aim is to help them see how they contribute to your vision. Most employees want to contribute, but sometimes they have particular habits or weaknesses which get in the way.
Communicate about how they help build the vision as well as what the vision is
For example, maybe your vision is to provide the best quality, immediately responsive service in your area. Employees may wait till they have a full answer before replying. You need to recognize their good intent, but communicate a different solution. Explain that even if there’s no clear answer yet, the client need an email or a response to know that you’re looking into their question, and will get back to them when you can.
Make it clear that what they are doing is not wrong, but also show how it stops you delivering your vision.
Make sure they know everything that’s going on in the business
One thing I do as an event manager is to meet with my marketing assistant Anna and tell her about what’s happening for the whole week. What I got up to last week, plus everything that’s happening this week, for every event we’re running.
It’s a full update and it means she can
1. Have a clear insight of what I'm trying to achieve
2. Use the information to communicate on social media
3. Ensure our message is consistent – or let me know if it isn’t!
In another scenario, say you’ve got staff overseas. It’s really easy to give them tasks and not explain the whole picture. But it’s easier for them to do the right thing if they understand that big picture.
Make sure you brief new staff
This is critical. I always show new staff exactly where I want to be in our events. I have a lot of clarity in our vision, which makes this easy.
The vision is delivering experiences that connect people.
I go through that and through all our values. Over and over again. Because people don’t remember everything the first time, and even your most committed staff don’t care as much as you do.
Make your vision visible
Perhaps put it on a notice board, or a poster, like we do.
The aim is to keep reminding everyone about your vision, all the time. So that you and your team can keep asking yourselves – how does what we are doing right now contribute to that vision?
Communication in business covers so many issues and scenarios, but if you focus on communicating your vision with clarity, you help everyone to help you!