Communication among personnel is always a challenge.
The chaos that results from bad communication is stressful enough.
But the icing is that it probably has caused you to deal with big hits to your budget as well.
The marketing team oversold their sponsorships, and they’ve decided to let you know – this morning.
How do you take control of all the chaos?
How do you begin improving communication among all departments, personnel, and your entire organization while getting the details you need on time?
Poor communication can have disastrous consequences.
It’s even worse when it accumulates and affects all areas of your operation.
Painful – we know.
But, don’t worry.
You can fix it.
Let’s first consider why there may be a breakdown.
HOW TO DIAGNOSE YOUR COMMUNICATION BREAKDOWN
Are you having trouble figuring out what’s happening between your teams?
Can’t seem to put your finger on the communication issues stalling efficiency?
Consider these four symptoms of poor interaction between your staff.
- Conflicts between employees produce communication breakdown
- Communication takes time
- Communication guidelines are not written in black and white
- Physical separation is a factor
Conflicts between employees produce communication breakdown
When managers or staff are not speaking to each other, it makes it tough for others to communicate effectively.
Personal agendas and conflict prevent the team (and complete operation) from communicating effectively.
Communication takes time
Members of other operational teams may not take the time to share relevant information when they’re under pressure to complete tasks and deadlines within their function.
When the pressure to produce is present, communication as a priority may not be present to them.
Communication guidelines are not written in black and white
The importance of documenting crucial details, processes, and protocols is as important as tracking incidents.
Many times, procedures for organization-wide communication are not outlined.
But they need to be!
Physical separation is a factor
Effective communication among across your operation is challenging when staff is located on different floors or in other buildings.
Space can create obstacles.
Sharing crucial information may be less important to them than potentially making that dreaded trek to your office.
The chance of you being there is slim to none too!
IMPROVING COMMUNICATION DISPARITY IN FOUR STEPS
We know you’re busy; that’s why we put together four short and useful steps to improve communication.
You don’t have to wait to put them into practice either.
You can start the process today.
- Identify the vital information always needed
- Build camaraderie amongst your leaders
- Create and use processes inclusive of communication among personnel
- Invest in operations management software
1. Identify the vital information always needed
Which information does not change each week?
Each operational unit needs to create a list of the missing details from other operational units and their routine expectations.
You always know you’ll need the number of sponsorship activations so you can order enough chairs.
There you go.
The first one we did for you.
The need-to-know information gets to the need-to-know employees, and let’s not forget, on time.
2. Build camaraderie amongst your leaders
We’re huge proponents of role-playing, but team building is great too, especially if you’re working with other leaders.
Develop quality leaders and the rest of your operation benefits.
Once they’re communicating on the same channel – it’ll trickle down.
Team building can significantly improve how well leaders and their teams work with each other and other operational units.
3. Create and use processes inclusive of communication across your operation
Each operational unit needs to include steps outlining when and how information should always flow between personnel, and congruent with your vision.
Now it’ll be in black and white.
4. Invest in operations management software
What’s this you ask? It’s the glue.
After you’ve enhanced communication among teammates, bring it together with software solutions that will take your operation and communication to another level.
But, not just software solutions limited to one functionality.
Invest in operations management software to unify your operation and promote real-time communication.
Picture this; your staff can now communicate a broken cup holder to the operations center through mobile apps in real time.
But it gets better.
Staff in the operations center pushes the details of the broken cup holder into your incident management system with a click of a button.
Then they quickly and seamlessly generate a work order within the software solution for the maintenance team to view, manage, and complete the work order directly from the CMMS that talks to your incident management system.
Click, click, done.
How’s that for efficiency?!
OVER TO YOU
It’s not too late to take control of your chaos. The sooner you can improve the communication across your operation; the faster your operation will be humming.
Now, let’s jump-start your communication so you can kick your feet up and enjoy the fruits of your labor!
Editor's note: This post was originally published in July 2014 and has been updated for comprehensiveness and freshness.