In today’s marketplace, we are often told how “transparency” and “accountability” are important company values. But establishing those values as a practice is usually more difficult than it would appear.
To maintain a company culture of transparency and accountability, leadership must establish the right atmosphere. This is the only way to maintain positive and productive communication with employees and team members.
When a company finds it is struggling with employee loyalty, trust, and productivity, it is often a result of not creating and maintaining a company culture that is built on clear communication of goals, expectations, processes, and values.
An improved communication system is often best fostered with the assistance of an outside business consultant. A good business or communications consultant can help your company identify and craft solutions for any of these areas that might be lacking.
Here are few ways a business consultant can assist in solving these problems
Most consultants will start working with your company by assessing the current state of your communications. They will want to talk to all levels of your company to determine the practices that need the most immediate attention.
An excellent way to engage employees is to let them know that management will be working with the consultant as well. Communication problems are never the result of just one area of an organization, so it is vital that leadership be a part of the process.
As a consultant, I have learned that most people leave organizations because they don’t feel appreciated, not because they aren’t making enough money.
A business consultant can help create programs that would show loyal employees how appreciated they are by the company. They can also teach leadership skills that would help them better express appreciation to their team members, even in high stress or crisis situations.
As a company, you can’t stop employees from leaving, unless you have a plan to get them to stay!
The consultant will also show leadership how to best support employee feedback, including implementing a systematic way for that feedback to be given to leadership.
Often the employees need a specific structure to give feedback that is consistent. A consultant will help create that structure so that management can weed out complaints and show the employees that the process of giving feedback requires strategic thought.
Results Focused feedback
Once a consultant learns what both leadership and employees want the culture and communication to be like, they will usually sit in on employee meetings and other conversations to observe the communication process in action.
I will focus on the goals they say they want to achieve versus the problems they see. After I have a clear understanding of their goals and I have observed communication within the organization, I can then return to leadership with feedback and specific suggestions. I have often found that the leadership’s perception of how things are operating is not what I actually observed myself.
These conversations help focus the leadership on being effective and clear in their communications instead of being defensive or aggressive when a goal is not met or project ends up out of scope.
Designing a Specific Action Plan
Once the feedback has been received, a consultant will then work with the leadership to implement a new system and set up new protocols to remedy any areas of communication that were found lacking.
Most consultants will then “test drive” the new communication process and refine it until it brings about the desired results in employees and leadership.
I often have clients video conference me into meetings and copy me on emails for a couple month after our initial assessment and follow strategy sessions so that I can see how the new system works when implemented. Sometimes things take some refining, a great consultant will stick with you until the new system works, seamlessly.
These are just a few ways that a communications consultant can help your business.