Own Your Business Communications Culture

Employees continue to cite being overwhelmed by business communications. They’re inundated with emails, voice mails, phone calls, instant messaging and texts. This prompted us to ask if businesses are playing an active role in helping employees manage these communications. And if so, how are they doing this?

Business leaders might believe responsiveness and communication methods should be solely left up to the individual and their personal preferences. On the flip side, employers that demonstrate effective communications and set guidelines for the level of responsiveness expected of employees (hint: it’s not necessarily being immediately available) experience higher productivity and have happier employees.

It’s also a cultural thing. So if you don’t have guidelines, you can count on employees following suit with leadership’s business communication practices. However, this approach isn’t necessarily right for every employee’s personal preference and job description. Bottom line, employees need to understand business communications. This helps them choose the most effective communication methods for their general workday structure,tasks and specific situations.

Here’s how and why business leaders should be involved and set guidelines for employee business communications:

Understand Productivity and Priorities
Business leaders should understand their workforce’s communications because it affects productivity and priorities. Knowing where communication breaks down allows issues be addressed and improved. For example, the employee who immediately responds to every incoming email may not be prepared for a team meeting where critical business decisions need to be made.  

Share Communications Expectations
Show your employees examples of what good and bad communications look like for roles specific to your company. I.e. We always respond to our clients within two hours. For quick critical questions, it’s better to call, IM or text your boss directly rather than send an email with your question and cc the entire team.

Model Communications
Defining your employee’s communication styles is a good starting point in creating a common language in your culture.  If they’re aware of their co-workers’ style, they can tailor their approach in working with them. And if leadership and employees are modeling more productive ways to communicate, the overwhelming-ness can be managed.  

Start this conversation about improving business communications today. Your employees will thank you for it.