#Business Communication. Why it is important to listen

Over the past few weeks things have been quite tough in the Enterprise world, with everyone trying to secure a future for their various organisations.
It occurs to me that one thing Companies do very badly, is share with staff what is going on. It may be a British condition but we tend to hide problems, and pretend everything is rosy in the garden, when at times it patently is not.
It is a two way thing, communication. Employers need to listen to to staff concerns as it is often a pointer to what the outside world thinks about your organisation. Often Employers fail to notice this though, preferring head in the sand mentality, denial. The situation is far worse now that we have Social Networking as information gets out very quickly, good and bad. Knowledge is not the exclusive preserve of the executive. Employees may have less day to day boardroom input, however, they interface with the public, and that is the best barometer a business can have. The better the relationship you have with your employees, the more likely that they will have the confidence to pass on snippets of information. Without this confidence staff will often assume their input is not valued, and as such keep things to themselves. Employers often pay lip service to their staff, making the right noises openly, but then go away and assume only they know best. Wrong!
Successful Companies listen to staff and also their Customers.
Valuable internal and external knowledge can be gained from a vibrant, inclusive workforce.
How often do Companies look at quality surveys from an external viewpoint? Often they refer to internal forces and focus on the individual’s, as opposed to outside perceptions.
Recruitment is a very costly exercise and surely far better to be avoided when you have staff that you recruited in the first place, presumably because you thought they were the right person. Developing staff has to be the answer. Just like Sir Alex Ferguson at Manchester United, when all the fans wanted him sacked In his early days at the club, the board gave him time to sort things out, and look where they are now.
So message today, is Listen more that you preach. Everyone has a voice and you should listen to it occasionally.
As always, Geoff Reeves, based at The FYCreative Centre, Blackpool, 01772422242


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