Communication: Talk To The Bottom Line To Grow It

Being smart about business means being smart about all aspects of business, including who you hire and keeping your employees connected to the bottom line. One objective to business success is to consider your employees as the bottom line.

While these economic times make it an “employer’s market,” this does not mean you want to take advantage of those you need to grow your business. For instance, you have to stay connected with your staff and allow them to share what’s working and what your employees consider as stumbling blocks to get their jobs done effectively. There are many great resources available online. A list of questions to get you started is available through IMT (Industry Marketing Trends).
Don’t stop now. There’s more!

Performance Evaluations: Eliminate the Stress Before It Takes a Bite Out of Your Bottom Line

Whether you’re a business owner, a supervisor or manager, more than likely you have people who report to you and look to you for leadership, direction and continuous communication on what is expected on the job. One very effective and common method of maintaining a healthy dialogue between employees and their supervisors/managers is a performance evaluation conducted by you and each employee you oversee on a one-on-one basis at least once a year but hopefully two or more times a year. Employees often become anxious prior to such a performance evaluation.

Generally, emotions such as anxiety and stress come from past negative experiences or by fear of the unknown. And if you are in charge of communicating to these employees, it is your responsibility to significantly reduce, or better yet eliminate employee stress and anxiety through clear communication between you and each staff member you oversee on a regular basis. Otherwise, employee stress and anxiety can negatively impact the quality of products and services your company produces. And if all you can serve is lower quality products, expect to see your hearty bottom line dwindle away before your eyes.

To Eliminate Stress & Anxiety: Communicate. Communicate. Communicate.
Management has the ability to maintain and even improve the quality of products and services produced by informing employees about the following areas of business that are relevant to employees’ daily work and overall employment with the company:
-Business goals
-Significant company milestones
-New business victories
-Ongoing customer feedback
-Continuous employee performance communication

Sad But True Examples of Poor Communication:
1) An ad agency going through some growth spurts was building its new business database while also continuing to offer quality service to its current client base. The owner of the company was very pleased to share several testimonials from current satisfied customers. However, when I asked one of the company’s art directors what a client thought about some work she had recently completed, she said she had no idea. She told me she never knew what the clients said. It was just her job to design.

2) Working on a global internal communications campaign, I was privy to sales figures and heard directly from top management that overall, the continued growth in sales in certain product categories was making a meaningful difference to the company’s bottom line. So, when I met with a few hundred employees responsible for the quality of the product produced, I was floored when not one of these employees knew what exactly the products did, what companies purchased the products and who the end users were. Amazingly, the products improved the quality of life in millions of people’s lives.

Click here to provide your senior management team with a course on:
Effective Communication: From Business Goals to Employee Evaluations

Pencils Promote Drugs to School Kids: Communication Gone Wrong

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An anti-drug group in New York distributed free pencils to school kids with the anti-drug message,  ‘Too Cool To Do Drugs.’ It started out okay, but got worse and worse when the kids actually used the pencils.

As the pencils were worn down and sharpened, the message changed to:  ‘Cool To Do Drugs,’ and ‘Do Drugs.’ (excerpt from the book, ‘Duh! The Stupid History of the Human Race,’ by Bob Fenster.)

Okay, so the idea above seemed like a good one at the time but thinking through the communication tool and how it would be used seems to have taken a back seat. Just think about about little Johnny and Sally rushing home excited to tell their parents that it’s okay to do drugs because their schools says so. Can you say, Ouch?!

Although the anti-drug group had the best of intentions, the end result, the message communicated, probably did not win over the parents of that particular school or any school this anti-drug group passed out its pencils.

Winning over customers can be just as challenging. But don’t forget the need to win over your own employees. Employees are dependent on the business where they work to help them earn a living and continue to bring income home on a steady basis. But besides an employee’s job description, there is a lot left unsaid or not communicated that can cause more unnecessary chaos and stress throughout a company that is rarely even there in the first place.

If you are an owner of a business, there are some basic messages that each employee should understand. And if you and your upper management don’t effectively communicate this information to each employee, you can never hope to think that all employees know what you want for the business and how you want to get there AND what they are supposed to do to help you get where you want to go.

Mandatory Communication To Each Employee:

#1 What is the company’s goal AND how does this impact each employee?

#2 What is the company’s positioning statement AND what does this mean to each employee and his/her daily responsibilities?

#3 What role does each employee play in the overall ‘big picture?’

Most Forgotten Communication Needed From Management to Employees:

#4 When an employee is asked by a friend, potential client or local official where he/she works, the employee should be able to offer the name of the company and an agreed upon company wide ‘key message’ that encompasses what the company does and who the company serves. This key message should be no longer than one sentence. Now, this is effective communication that gets the entire company on the same bus headed in the same direction knowing where they are all headed.