One of my biggest takeaways from the recent Growth Summit I attended was the importance of increased communication, in all directions, as a crucial strategy for dealing with the changing economy and the uncertainty that is attached to it. The idea is that in order to respond to the challenges and find opportunities, everyone has to be crystal clear about the performance of the company and tactics that are working and not working. That way, quick adjustments can be made to deliver the desired results. Everyone will understand the urgency of things. It should empower the team and spur them on to action.
But you must be sure that in communicating to your team, you are actually giving them power along with the information. Too often leaders give the information without helping the frontline understand how to use it to deliver results. They just give the information, without including them in discussions about what it means, how to use it, strategy and tactics or even permission to act on the information. The leader just gives information.
Without giving them the added discussions and permission, this is tantamount to beating them up with the numbers. Just pouring pressure on their shoulders. Your frontline can read the papers and they probably intuitively know how things are going. They are looking for answers or want to be part of the answers. If you don’t include them in this part of the communication process you might as well not communicate with them at all.
Increase your communications to give power to your frontline, not to give them pressure. If you give power in your communications you’ll get commitment, answers, and results. If you give pressure you’ll get paralysis and the pressure will jump right back your back.