In my career span, ranging from an R&D setup to Heavy Industries to Oil & Gas to Banking to Consulting to Robotics, one common pattern that I have witnessed is that communication is the most important aspect at the workplace. A leader who can communicate the task to her/his team, a colleague who can talk to another colleague and a person who can communicate to her/his manager effectively tend to get things done faster, effectively and are more successful.
If I have to pick one thing where the leaders of today are succeeding to achieve significant success in, it is Communication.
Boost employee morale and performance
Communication positively affects all facets of life. It helps a manager in getting things done more effectively - accurate and faster. It allows employees to become more engaged at work. It can even make them feel important in the eyes of their employers and thus, leads to higher motivation. It also allows keeping the organization on track. Silos lead to multiple grave situations (Have covered it later in the article). Effective communication develops a good bond between two individuals resulting in a team to work together harmoniously and productively.
Active Listening/Attention in a Digital World
Communicating with someone is an easy and as well as an arduous task at the same time. What you say is as important as how you say it. A significant portion of communication is listening. Paying attention to the other person in the conversation is half the job done.
While communicating anything (office, public place or home), evaluate it on three parameters –
Am I true to myself?
What good will it do?
What will happen If I delay it?
So tomorrow, when you step into office, commute or reach back home, don't underestimate the power of communication – verbal as well as non-verbal. It will create magic in all spheres of your life.
Breaking down Silo Mentality
Working in silos has become one of the most commonly heard phrases in organizations - Be it a global one, a conglomerate or a startup.
Here is an apt definition by Business Directory - “The Silo Mentality is a mindset present when certain departments or sectors do not wish to share information with others in the same company. This type of mentality will reduce efficiency in the overall operation, reduce morale, and may contribute to the demise of a productive company culture."
Don’t worry there is a way to tackle these pesky silos and improve productivity, morale and the culture itself in your organization. Through approaches like technology or change management as explained below:
- 1. Create Knowledge management - It’s essential to fetch out information or knowledge from peoples’ mind and capture it into a document. People who prefer to work in a particular style and who are on critical positions in an organization, can’t find time to document their knowledge. That’s where the role of the leader or the HR Business Partner comes into the picture. Schedule a time with these people, record the conversation and start documenting it before it’s late.
- 2. The clarity and unification of vision: - Patrick Lencioni writes in his book Silos, Politics, and Turf Wars; “Silos - and the turf wars they enable – devastate organizations. They waste resources, kill productivity, and jeopardize the achievement of goals.” He further advises leaders to remove silos by moving past behavior issues and addressing the contextual issues that are currently burning. To achieve clarity in goals, not only employees needs to think in one direction, but leaders must set out a broader vision. The leadership team needs to zero down on the vision of the organization and agree on how to communicate it in simpler words. Leaders need to come out of the mindset of my business unit or my department.
- 3. Foster collaboration: - What we prioritize, gets executed and eventually becomes the culture of the organization. The partnership needs to be encouraged by leaders by fostering cross-functional teams. At GreyOrange, we have formed cross-functional teams for at the level of sub-systems which helped us in creating ownership and bringing employees from various functions and business units under one umbrella. It fosters exchange of knowledge, co-creation, and sense of ownership for a part/component.
- 4. Motivate and recognition: - Once the entire experience is captured, a unified goal is clearly communicated down the line and people are set to work cross-functionally, it becomes essential to motivate employees to come out of their silos and share their knowledge and work together. The employees are needs to recognize in townhalls, business unit meetings and across geographies.
By simply adopting the above steps, organizations can start stimulating collaboration and a unified vision. Next time when you think of a program or a project, don’t think about Finance, Operations, Engineering, instead think about how it could improve the experience of our customers. Because collaboration and effective communication are key to a seamless customer experience.