Communication is key for efficient strategy execution
Updated: Aug 26, 2020
Unclear, insufficient, no communication - those are the main reasons why strategies rarely succeed completely. Even though your strategy did not fail, better and more frequent communication can boost your execution and help your company to reach more goals. But why does it seem so difficult to communicate your strategy efficiently and keep your employees on track? We provide 5 easy steps to make your communication more effective.
1. Simplify your strategy
4. Transparency creates trust
Communication is a two-way street, meaning that it goes in both directions and is dependent on both the sender and the receiver, to be successful or not. When communicating, the information will be encoded, sent via the chosen channel, and then decoded again before interpreted by the receiver. In this process, your message might be misinterpreted and details get “lost in translation”. To make the understanding and interpretation process easier for the receiver, the sender has to communicate clearly and should choose the channel based on the receiver. This way, the sender can communicate more effectively and improve his communication.
Effective communication within your strategy planning and execution can build trust towards your employees and stakeholders and enhances your authenticity and credibility. Employees appreciate a clear information flow that minimizes errors and helps to make processes faster. The more trust and credibility you obtain, the more your employees believe in your strategy and will contribute to it. In addition, effective communication saves time and energy that can be spent on the execution.
Making your communication more efficient can give you benefits for your strategy optimization. To help you to boost your execution, here are 5 tips that can improve your communication:
1. Simplify your strategy
Managers should be able to explain their ideas simple enough for everyone to understand. However, it happens often enough that sentences become more complicated than intended.
It is, therefore, necessary to translate your vision and strategy into an easily understandable form to communicate effectively to every employee.
The KISS-principle (Keep it simple stupid) is designed to minimize misunderstanding and make communication more efficient by avoiding complicated sentences and words. If your grandmother or your kid can understand it, then every employee should understand it, too; and if everyone understands, then they can commit to the same vision and strategy. Accordingly, simplicity and clarity should be key goals in your planning and communication.
“Listen more than you talk!” You might think that most of your time is spent on explaining things but actually 80% of your work should be listening. When you listen more closely to your employees, you can figure out if they can understand your vision and strategy and gain their perspective and knowledge. This way you can see how far they align their tasks and goals with your strategy and commit to your ideas.
Furthermore, it also helps to find out how to address them. There are different media you can use to send a message, however, every person prefers a different channel. Sometimes you can save time by calling someone or scheduling a meeting instead of writing an email that might be misunderstood.
3. Over-communication is important
As a manager, time is rare and you want to spend as little time as possible to explain your vision and strategy. However, if you want to make sure your employees understood your strategy plan, you have to invest time and should repeat and, thereby, over-communicate your strategy.
Since everyone is constrained to a certain attention span to remember every detail, things will get lost or be forgotten. Over-communicating helps to remember details and to focus on what is necessary to reach your goals so that the strategy plan actually sticks to your employees. Moreover, you should communicate things that might be clear and logical to you but not to others. Do not expect all the time that everyone knows everything that you know.
4. Transparency creates trust
Open communication makes leaders more visible and shows that they actually affirm their words with actions that can enhance their credibility. Having open communication about your vision can cultivate transparency and can lead to employees sharing more information with you.
This is also giving them a feeling of contributing important knowledge and skills. Engaged employees commit to reaching a goal and are willing to give necessary feedback. Moreover, effective leaders show authenticity and communicate on a personal level. They share anecdotes and never pretend that things are okay if they are not. Forget about corporate-speak and be real to gain your employees’ respect and trust.
5. Document the key elements
Everything that is not written down, can be forgotten and is lost. If you want to communicate effectively, you have to secure every detail in your strategy planning, which makes documentation unavoidable. These documents should be easily readable and provide information in a clear way. It is especially necessary when employees leave and new employees need to be onboarded. Since this process can often lead to inaccessibility of important information, which slows down the integration process of new employees, it can be avoided with simple and clear documents.
Effective communication can optimize your strategy planning and onboard more employees. Clear and simple communication and documentation create transparency. If your employees can rely on you, you gain their trust and their commitment. This again can enhance the strategy and goal alignment of managers and boost your strategy execution. If you follow these easy steps, it can help you to deliver a clearer and more understandable strategy communication.
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