When executive leaders rely on corporate information to flow down the organization, sometimes facts and figures get skewed because information changes as it’s transferred from management to staff. The most effective way to relay information is by relating it to a topic employees can connect with.
Relating to situations in everyday life is easy for people to understand and remember. Relating corporate news to a common topic makes it easy for executives to relay to managers, who then relay to front line employees. The picture that is painted in their mind is more meaningful and they retain the information longer.
Let’s say there is an issue with employee tardiness. Employees are strolling in 5-10 minutes late, then taking more time to settle in and get in position to start their day. When you’ve calculated how much this zero productivity is costing the company, you decide to discuss it with your direct reports. You give the directive to have managers resolve the issue at their next staff meeting, trusting that the message will be firm and employee behavior will turnaround. In reality, the message will be short lived and the impact will be minimal.
Instead, relate the issue to leaving the house on an empty gas tank for an important meeting. It’s safe to say employees have driven on fumes at some point in their life, and have experienced the anxiety of “get gas now or I’m never going to make my destination” feeling. This is a topic folks can easily connect with, so use it to get your point across.
Do Not Communicate This
The business operations begin at 8 a.m. and managers expect staff members to be in place and ready to work at that time. It has come to our attention that employees are walking in the door at 8 a.m. or later, then taking several minutes to get coffee and get settled and into place, thus becoming fully available at approximately 8:15 a.m. Tardiness is an enormous expense that is unnecessary. Be on time and be prepared for work at 8 a.m.. Please adhere to company work hours. Refer to the employee handbook for details.
Communicate This Instead
A company sales rep had an appointment for a record-breaking deal, and as he was driving to the 8 a.m. appointment, he noticed his car was running on fumes. He stopped for gas and had to go inside to pay because the pump swipe wasn’t working. It took the clerk several minutes to emerge from the back to get to the counter, then more time for her to get logged into the register. Of course, it took more time to gas up and leave. When the sales rep arrived for the appointment, the prospect declined to meet because the rep was late. A six-figure deal lost.
What went wrong here? We don’t tolerate tardiness either. Don’t be that guy/gal. Be on time. Be prepared. Show your worth.