“Let’s eat grandma.”
“Let’s eat, grandma.”
The correct punctuation can save a life.
Above is one of those internet memes, cheek in tongue, about just how difficult the English language is. Surely, this is but a slight oversight which you can mentally correct, you think. Now, substitute the words with figures; say, being charged KES 10,000 for a job worth KES 100 because the accountant forgot to put a period before the last two zeroes in the figure. Now, if it is an old supplier, you may understand that this was an error, but trust may be irrevocably breeched with a new supplier.
Ok, the above scenario may be extreme but it perfectly illustrates what a lack of effective communication may be doing to your organisation; losses, lost business opportunities, employee apathy, poor service… The following 3 tips on effective communication can, however, greatly enhance your organisation’s productivity.
Channel of communication
The choice of which channel of communication to use is a deliberate one. While we may be living in a digital world where social media, via countless apps, has made it easier to communicate and share large files with ease, use of these must be well thought out. Using twitter and Facebook to push your products is alright, but sending your boss or employees important info on WhatsApp may imply you are a joker. The good old letter, email or fax portrays professionalism; with a customised business email (firstname.lastname@example.org) as opposed to a generic one (email@example.com ) giving your business a solid authenticity.
If someone is curt, rude or patronising, would you be willing to be her friend, let alone do business with her? Yet this is what happens at the workplace day in day out at the workplace. This is especially true if an organisation’s values have not trickled down from the top management to everyone in the lower cadres.
In today’s business environment where relationships are of paramount importance, a rude employee may lose the organisation a valuable account that took the sales team months to bring into the fold. As such, recognising that the customer is king and is always right, interactions with him should be respectful and helpful.
Communication should always be clear. What needs to be done, by whom, how, when, why… this saves time and prevent wastage of other resources since efforts are not duplicated or, worse still, not done at all. In case of ambiguity, clarification should always be sort.
To ease matters, the organisation may develop a workflow chart on how work is supposed to be done at multi-levels; an organisational structure as well as a job manual to guide on the standards that every job has to attain.