Effective Internal Communication Drives Business Success Say Investors

I had the opportunity, recently, to meet with some representatives of a private equity firm that has helped dozens of companies achieve success. Their track record has been impressive and their approach somewhat unique. They don’t just infuse money, they also infuse time, talent and expertise into ensuring that these companies do achieve the success they’re hoping for.

I asked them about the most common issue or problem they encountered when first working with these companies. I was surprised

and, actually, quite heartened when they said: communication. Typically, they said, these entrepreneurial businesses had  developed a culture where the founder or owner tends to keep information too close, not sharing information openly with staff. One of the first things they tend to focus on when working with these companies is helping them create a culture that encourages transparency. Why? Because it not only leads to employee engagement, but also creates an environment where employees are more likely to share their ideas and contribute to process improvement and innovation.

Wow! That’s exactly what I have believed and worked toward for years and I frequently share studies that support this with colleagues and clients. But, as a communicator, I know that communication is sometimes considered to be a rather “soft” element of business performance — businesses tend to focus more product development, quality, ROI, etc. , and rightly so. Focusing on effective internal communication, as a business strategy, is often overlooked. Consequently, despite their best efforts in other areas that tend to be more directly associated with ROI, many businesses fail.

They fail because they are not engaging their workforce in helping them achieve their mission and vision. They fail because they are not harnessing the power of the ideas and insights that their staff can bring to them. They fail because they do not recognize the many ways in which their employees can serve as strong brand ambassadors for their organizations and its products and services.

I know that. Other communication professionals know that. But I don’t often run across business people — especially those with millions of dollars to invest in the hopes of making millions more — who know that. I’m guessing that the fact that they do is a prime reason that they have such a track record of success.

Are you creating a climate of open communication in your organization?


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