Breaking Barriers.....Communication in the Marketplace Series - Part II
Contaminated Marketplace : Fear, Anxiety, Paranoia
The less employees know, or the more filtered the information they receive, the more distorted that information is going to be. People do not hear any longer. They "hear" themselves, they "hear" their own thoughts and fears, and they are going to think it out loud to the next co-worker, the next customer, and maybe their family members and friends. Worse, they could post it on Facebook and Glassdoor.
You could fire them, if you please, but the damage will be done. Actually firing them might be a bad idea if one of your supervisors has sought the information on their Facebook page. And there, down goes your organization.
So, all programs for boosting engagement is a waste of effort. It could be a temporary bandage but the bottom line is that you might be just fooling yourself. Nothing will change really as long as company behavior is not altered.
A Change of Mindset: Let it Flow!
You got it! We are talking culture, employer branding, change of mindset all across the board. Collaboration, transparency, communication. Go for it!
I just came across this amazing article on Entrepreneur about the Office of the Future. Absolutely wonderful and so revealing! The design of the office of the future evolves around transparency, collaboration, and sustainability. They just got it right! Beyond images and architecture, one has to see and seize communication opportunities. Let communication flow, alive and well. It is the fountain of engagement, productivity, results, and metrics.
Have you ever noticed that whenever you walk into an office building and see the configuration of their office space, it tells a lot about the organization? A conservative approach of business is going to be reflected in the working environment: closed doors, large enclosed office spaces, very conservative furniture...This is where branding becomes significant. Also, this is how company culture transpires.
A controlling environment? Ah! The first point of contact communicates to you through a glass window and you may just well forget about any access to the waiting room unless she/he unlocks the door to you. And you know that I am not talking about hospitals, research labs, NASA, the Pentagon or the like.....The best yet? This visitor/business partner was literally stopped in the hallway by an executive who happened to pass by and was told that the person sought (a senior executive) was not in the office that day (true) and that emails were exclusively for internal use (?!?). Wow!
It is not always and only a matter of budget with the call for big open spaces. Rather, it is a question of self-branding and company culture: letting the walls down, opening doors, sitting around the table to get to solutions and setting a common plan for reaching metrics. Somehow, there is always room for renovation, innovation or mutation, as needed. It is also sending a welcoming message to visitors, partners, external stakeholders: come in, sit down, among us...
It is about civility, approachability, openness to opportunities. Breaking barriers is all about a balancing act of communication....a balancing act of managing people and communication...