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Top 7 Cost-Effective Ways for Business Leaders to Improve Communication and Collaboration

By Greg Jerralds

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Some business leaders may argue that it’s not important for every employee to be involved in, or even informed about the company’s business strategy, financial position or other seemingly “executive-exclusive” information. But, my experience tells me that when companies strangle, or in some cases, sever the critical lines of communication and collaboration amongst its employees, the result can be catastrophic.

Poor communication and collaboration causes employees to become disconnected from the business altogether, which places a company at a severe disadvantage. What’s truly unfortunate is that those same employees, who are robbed of vital information and opportunities to collaborate, generally prefer to have more involvement, empowerment and accountability.

  1. Develop a “top-down” culture that encourages and rewards open communication and collaboration.

    This is where the C-level executives come in! It starts at the top, and then must be driven down throughout the entire organization. Without sustainable top executive commitment and support, steps 2 through 7 will be difficult to achieve.

  2. Share the corporate strategy and vision with every employee.

    Don’t just send one email… create posters, add it to company newsletters, etc. For employees to truly catch on, and most importantly, believe that their company is serious about success, the message has to become engrained within the culture.

  3. Regularly communicate corporate initiatives, expectations, and results to every employee.

    Don’t just limit this vital information to employees within a particular department. Share it with every employee. Develop a corporate scorecard; one that lists the top 3-5 goals or initiatives, and then share it. Insure middle managers are helping hourly employees connect their job and goals with the corporate initiatives.

  4. Align division and department goals with your corporate strategy.

    This is a vital step, and one that requires some quality time and focus. In some cases, you may realize that some department-level goals must be modified or eliminated all together. Remember, if your department is focusing on the wrong goals, your company will have a tough time realizing its full potential.

  5. Share financial results (both good and bad) with all employees.

    Many leaders are afraid to share financial information with employees at all levels. However, if you truly want your workforce to perform less like employees and more like entrepreneurial-minded, strategic partners, then share your financials and explain how they apply!

  6. Create and deploy a department-level balanced scorecard.

    The balanced scorecard must effectively align merit, bonuses and other monetary reward systems to performance, quality assurance, operational efficiencies and customer delight results…at a minimum. Explain the connection, and then share the results on a consistent basis.

  7. Celebrate successes (both big and small)!

    This helps to reinforce the company’s commitment to the strategy as well as its importance. Be sure to promote a culture that encourages learning from mistakes, and rewards calculated risk-taking.

Greg Jerralds is with Profit InnerCircle.com. He is the author of the book, “The Leader’s Guide to Performance Management” and co-author of “The Best Kept Profit Secret.”

Greg is available for media interviews, speaking engagements, on-site training, consultations, and teleseminars and webinars. He can be reached at 210.497.1948 ext. 102, or Info@ProfitInnerCircle.com.

Source: http://Top7Business.com/?expert=Greg_Jerralds

Article Submitted On: March 23, 2009