Successful Communication

Dr. Richard Schuttler is an accomplished educator and public speaker who has consulted with companies such as Delta Airlines and the NCAA. He believes organizational performance is based on a company’s ability to “Communicate! Communicate! Communicate!… And then communicate more!”

Dr. Schuttler defines effective communication as “regular, clear, consistent, and constant” that must “encourage people to work together toward a common goal, provide a practical and achievable vision, and attract others to the organization’s cause.” This is most critical when driving an organizational change!

Dr. Schuttler’s book, the Laws of Communication, defines 2 laws that must be addressed to achieve optimal productivity and effectiveness:

  • Law #1: Supervisor communication directly affects employee performance.
    • Failure of supervisors to communicate with their employees directly results in poor employee performance
  • Law #2: Organizational communication directly affects the organization’s performance
    • Failure of the organization to effectively communicate results in poor organizational performance

As Patty mentioned in her blog earlier this week, at the beginning of the change deployment, “hyper-communication (is key) — make sure your employees know exactly what is happening, to the minute detail, so that they don’t have to spend a lot of time checking for understanding with each other to really feel comfortable that they’ve understood what this means to them.  Leave no room for interpretation.” 

The communication plan must ensure that the middle managers, who directly influence their subordinates’ behaviors, know exactly what change is expected:

  1. What changed frontline employee behavior will look like – in terms of services offered, process adoption, technology effectively used, modified employee attitudes, customer satisfaction…
  2. How the change will be measured (for the manager and for the employees) – to know that change is happening
  3. How to manage their employees through the change
    • If the middle level managers do not have experience mentoring people through change, they may require training to help their employees through the grieving process (for the old way of doing things) and toward the new vision for the company.

At the same time, the communication plan must ensure that the entire organization, who directly influences their customers’ satisfaction and overall market performance, knows exactly what change is expected:

  1. What changed organizational behavior will look like – in terms of services offered, process adoption, technology effectively used, modified employee attitudes, customer satisfaction…
  2. How the change will be measured (for the organization) – to know that change is happening
  3. How to manage the organization through the change
    • If the sponsors and champions do not have experience mentoring an organization through change, they may require training to help the organization as a whole through the grieving process (for the old way of doing things) and toward the new vision for the company.

About Michelle Smeby

Michelle Smeby is CEO of wHolistic Change, Inc. with more than 10 years of experience implementing enterprise solutions at Fortune 100 companies. Michelle specializes in helping corporations deliver transformational change.
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