Importance of a Communication Strategy
Your communication strategy is the heart of your company. It determines the flow of information among managers and workers. A poor communication strategy allows for information blockages, making it hard, for example, for managers to monitor employee performance or for employees to understand orders from management.
An effective communication strategy forges and maintains connections, allowing your business to work efficiently toward its goals. The most basic dynamic in communication exists between the message and the audience. For example, a manager’s orders are her message to her employees, who are her audience. The reverse is also true. The employees’ status reports are messages to their audience, the manager. If connections are clear, each party receives and understands the messages of the other, which fosters synchronized, efficient performance.
An effective communication strategy starts with determining clear objectives. For example, a small business owner might want to monitor her factory’s performance to ensure enough product is on hand to meet customer demand, but not so much that her company must pay unnecessary storage costs. So the objective of her communication strategy is to ensure the information she receives from her employees is current and accurate, which will allow her to control the rate of production effectively.
The business owner then must organize her company to suit her communication objective. For example, she must specify what production data she wants from her factory workers, as well as what consumer-demand data she wants from her sales team. Further, she doesn't want to read dozens of reports each day, so she’ll ask a manager from each department to provide daily summaries that allow her to make informed decisions. Clearly, instituting this communication strategy will involve careful planning and delegation.
The more complex the communication strategy, the more likely information blockages will occur, making it hard to deliver and understand messages. Business owners must maintain and monitor their organizations to ensure communication channels are clear. For example, the factory owner will have to design training programs for new hires to ensure they understand what types of data she expects from their department. Otherwise, staffing changes could result in a communication breakdown, jeopardizing her ability to fine-tune production.