“I have worked here for 6 months now, and still no-one has told me about what other parts of this organisation do.”
This complaint was aired again at a recent organisational get together that I helped to facilitate. It is a common complaint – very common. In essence it says ‘you the management don’t give me the information I need to do my job well’.
But whose job is communication anyway? Historically perhaps it has been the role of management to provide staff briefings, newsletters and other communication gizmos in an attempt to disseminate what they know.
These days though the emphasis has changed. It is no longer about management pumping out generic, hopefully useful, pieces of information. It is now on individuals and groups of employees in teams and departments to work out exactly what they need to know, and be able to do, in order to add more value. It is then about them taking focused action to get what they need. The role of management is to make sure that this can happen.
The first challenge in improving communication is often to be clear on exactly whose job it is. And as a chalenge this should not be underestimated. Especially if you employ staff who are used to working in much more traditional management hierarchies.
Changing the emphasis from ‘being told‘ to ‘finding out‘ will not only significantly improve communication – it is also likely to stimulate innovation, creativity and a range of other cultural changes.