Management Coaching Blog

Manager Tip of the Week: Keeping the Communication Flowing

July 12, 2016

I was standing in the checkout line during a recent
grocery store trip when my credit card appeared to be having issues. I was continually swiping the card but nothing was happening. I asked the cashier if I should insert my micro-chipped card instead of swiping it, but she insisted that the store’s machines were not equipped for the new technology and I should simply swipe my card.

The line behind me was growing as the now aggravated cashier and I waited a few more minutes for the swipe to take. After a while, I got desperate and decided to insert the card into the slot anyway. Low and behold – the transaction processed! While it was completing, another employee walked over to the frazzled cashier and said, “Oh, sorry! We switched over to the chip feature last night.” The embarrassment was visible on the cashiers face as she became aware, a little too late, that the chip feature had indeed been activated.

How could the store not communicate this important overnight change to the employee responsible for executing it? If this basic information was not communicated to the employee, what else might be missing? Unfortunately, I’ve witnessed this same lack of communication in a lot of companies. In this case, both the employee and the customer left the experience frustrated and disappointed, neither of which bode well for the company’s long term success.

To boost communication flow within your company, consider these best practices:

The Plan – Ensure there is a plan for leadership to give important company updates to managers who are accountable for disbursing the information to their teams.

The Platform – Find multiple ways to disburse information to employees that are relevant to your environment. For example, if you have a manufacturing plant, you may choose to post information in a common break area or host a brief meeting before each shift. If your employees are in front of computers most of the day, an internal newsletter, intranet post or all company email may be better options. Whatever platform you choose, ensure it reaches your full audience and do not hesitate to use multiple avenues to get information disbursed.

The People – Assign responsibility for the communication flow. How often do you want managers to communicate with their employees? Give expectations up front and follow up to ensure the information continues to flow.

These three simple, yet important, concepts are a great way to keep communication flowing. Once your people build habits vital to open communication, it will move from a trickle to a steady flow. Communication can be a very powerful tool; make sure your employees are set up for success by having that tool!

For more information on improving your workplace communications, contact Leadership Coach, Tom Figiel, for a free consultation at or 312-914-1341.

> > Article originally appeared on the Tandem HR website < <

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