I have heard a lot this week about productivity and the need to improve it in the UK. But at no point in any of the interviews has anyone mentioned the role Communication can play.
It is easy to focus on working conditions, lazy employees or a lack of investment in technology but there are ways that communicators can help improve productivity.
1. Coherent company ethos – if there is a clear and consistent narrative about the organisation and its priorities it can bring people closer together. One of the biggest problems in employee engagement is not having that core messaging which makes it clear what people should do. In turn this will leave confusion around priorities and wasted effort on the wrong things.
2. Strong employee engagement – this will ensure that everyone understands what the business stands for and how they play their part. Ultimately they feel connected to the heart of the business.
3. Understanding customers – communicators are in a great position to have information and data about customers and what they want and value. If this is brought into the organisation it can ensure the right decisions are made for the future.
4. Reputation management – effective communication can ensure the views of the company are managed even in challenging or difficult circumstances. In turn this means people have confidence in the product or service and the workforce believe in it.
5. Strategic overview – communicators are one of the only people in the business beyond the CEO who have oversight of all areas of the operation. If communicators are going to be effective they must understand how things work as well as the reality on the shop floor. This can make them a valuable asset at the top table where they can provide insight.
6. Championing technology – communication has been at the centre of technological innovation. We have been making use of digital developments which has given us a wealth of knowledge and experience that can be used both internally with systems and in making the best use of technology to support the frontline.
In the future we need to ensure that communication is seen as part of any discussions about productivity. If we are effective communicators that are having an impact then we will be supporting frontline service delivery.