Communication as a Process
Do you ever wonder why some companies seem to be great communicators that engage their employees while others always seem to be keeping secrets, perpetuating the water cooler “rumor” conversations? It sounds something like this:
Matt: Sally said she heard Bob and Janice talking about how the company is down 25% in revenue. Do you think there will be layoffs?
Renee: Well, I heard Kathy and Tim saying our largest client called yesterday and is pulling back on their orders.
Matt: Do you remember Acme Company? They were down in revenue last year and they ended up firing half their staff. They are barely making it now.
Renee: Yeah, I can’t afford to lose my job.
Two weeks later:
Matt says to his Boss: Boss, I’ve decided to take a position with T Company.
Boss: What? I thought you were happy here.
Matt: I was, but with the upcoming layoffs, I want to make sure I can provide for my family.
Boss: What upcoming layoffs?
Matt: Haven’t you heard? The whole company knows about the upcoming layoffs.
Boss: I don’t know what you are talking about Matt. I was just at our corporate meeting yesterday and there is no talk of layoffs.
Matt: Oh. Well, I have two weeks until I start my new job.
What just happened? Because Matt’s company wasn’t transparent and didn’t communicate the problem and enlist the help of the team, Matt drew his own conclusions about the company and decided it was time to jump ship. Simply communicating the situation may have avoided Matt leaving.
The communication process involves how we communicate, why we communicate, and when we communicate. Just like any process, this should be documented.
Key Takeaway: If you create a well-documented communication process, then any time a need to communicate arises, you can just follow the process. This is true for day-to-day communication or crisis communication.
How do you communicate in your company?