#Business#employee management#communication

The Importance of Communication For Employers

|Apr 18|magazine16 min read

Written by Miti Ampoma

 

"The bedrock of a great business is based on human capital and that capital is built on human relationships. Human relationships, develop, grow, flourish and deepen through effective personal communication skills" Miti Ampoma

 

In 2012, the world’s largest independent Public Relations Agency, Edelman, produced its prestigious twelfth Edelman Trust Barometer Annual Global Study. Ed Williams, Chief Executive Officer of Edelman UK revealed that “one of the key findings in the survey was that large numbers of the public expect business to do much more than just make money and create jobs. They expect business to improve the world it operates in for the better, act ethically, treat employees well and help local communities.”

For employers from a leadership perspective, the Edelman survey is significant. In a tough political and economic climate where uncertainty is rife, employers can no longer expect an automatic ‘licence’ to lead simply because they are employers. They have to work for their ‘licence to lead’ and earn it. They are expected to do so by their employees and the public. Employers are being judged by the substance of their actions and their meaningful communication of them. This means communication is integral to their success.  

Good communication skills are no longer a nice to have or a fluffy optional extra that can be tagged at the end of major business decisions. An employer ignores its importance at their peril. In short, great communication means great business.  

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In establishing the context of the importance of communication, it’s also important for employers to focus on human communication as the cornerstone of their communication strategy and skills, in a world where technology and process is dominating at the expense of relationships with employees and customers. Employers have to be careful not to become too reliant on technology as their primary means of communication, at the expense of their own personal communication skills.

Whilst technology is great, it needs to support human relationships not disrupt it. An over reliance on devices to communicate, be it an over use of emails or other electronic devices, means we are more connected than ever, but not to each other. Yet, we are built for human relationships. It is a fundamental human need. It is our interdependency and a true connection with others that makes us feel valued, helps us flourish and makes us commercially successful. Employers need to protect this.

How to Hone Your Communication Skills

  1. Build deep relationships at all levels in your business. This enables people to feel valued, trusted and supported. They feel involved in decision making and believe their ideas and contributions count. Strong relationships create high moral where people buy into your organisational vision and goals voluntarily.
     
  2. Allow time for a relationship to develop with depth.
     
  3. Use your intuition and perception to spot opportunities, times and places to begin to have conversations that build relationships.
     
  4. Have face to face conversations with eye-ball to eye ball contact, whenever possible. Make time for this and make it a priority. This moves your communication ability from impersonal to a personal meaningful conversation. It puts the soul into your business. It connects your people, motivates and inspires. They will thrive.
     
  5. Good relationships means you can and should have honest conversations in the right place at the right time. It’s also important to have difficult or courageous conversations. Do these face to face.
     
  6. Talk to your colleagues in a way they understand, because they generate your business value. If you aren’t doing this you are literally throwing away your value!
     
  7. Talk to people! Avoid an overdose of convenient email and electronic communication. This may be the fast way, but it’s not always the best way.
     
  8. Make the time and effort to find out who your colleagues are. What makes them tick?
     
  9. Develop unique bonds with your colleagues. What do you have in common with the other person/people, what do you both agree on and what brings you together? What do you respect and admire about each other? What do you feel brings a special and unique quality to your relationships?
     
  10. Develop your listening skills and really listen to what a colleague has to say.
     
  11. Become a confidante people can trust. Operate with diplomacy, discretion, trust and integrity.
     
  12. Empathise and feel the changes that are required of others.
     
  13. Build a relationship with the organisational blocker too. Once won over, they will become a great champion to the cause.
     
  14. Develop the art of effective persuasion.
     
  15. Inspire others to participate.
     
  16. Go the extra mile. It reaps rewards.

Good communication is fundamentally about people. It’s about getting lots of people in your business buzzed and inspired through the power of effective communication, to get them on side, to be part of your business solutions – whatever the business weather.

If you do one thing today, identify someone or a group of people in your business that you need to build a relationship with, start the process to build or hone in your communication skills using whichever of the suggestions in this article you feel appropriate.

An employer who places a genuine focus on integrity and humanity at the heart of their communication strategy and makes human communication a centre piece of that strategy  will, in a modern business climate, transform their business and reap the benefits in three major ways >>>

  1. They will see communication between people drive performance.
     
  2. Profits will increase and be sustainable.
     
  3. Their business will create a more positive impact in the world.