Why is Communication the Number 1 complaint in most Staff Surveys?

Mark Miller

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One thing you can guarantee about communication - when you really need it, it breaks down. Pressure, challenges, change, all these necessary stages we go through when we try and grow our company result in communication break downs in one way or another. It's just human nature, when people are under pressure they are on high alert, so they pick up signals, nuances and rumours which aren’t exactly true. How many times have you briefed your staff, they are excited about the way forward, and within days there are complaints and dissent? It’s not you, it’s normal.

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The main victim of any breakdown in communications is of course the customer. And that’s not good for growth.


So, the equation looks like this: company growth = more pressure = breakdowns in communication = customer suffers. Not a great equation is it?


The war buffs amongst you will be well aware of what happens when communications break down in combat zones. We don’t lose our lives in business, but the impact is just the same. The military has spent a lot of effort learning from communication mistakes and has refined communication protocols again and again since the disastrous communications of WW1. They haven’t got it right yet, but they recognise how much time and effort has to be put into making communications work.


Let’s put it simply then. To bring people along with us in times of growth we have to pay special attention to:

  1. How we communicate with them
  2. How they are communicating with each other 

Let’s take the first one. Many Directors in my experience completely misunderstand communication. They think it means transmitting more. It doesn’t. It usually means listening more. Communication works when we consult others about changes that we want to make.


On the second one, the rumour mill is the killer. Make sure people on the ground tell you honestly what the rumours are. Then take whatever actions you think necessary to kill off rumours. The huge amount of energy lost through negative gossip will drain your business of its growth. Get champions out there to counter the rumours. Set up meetings where people can express themselves.


In brief, when we want to grow our companies we need a strategy for effective communication. Otherwise communication takes on a life of its own … and can kill our ambitions.


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At Stratagem&Co, we believe that being able to quickly assess and evaluate the 'health' of your business is a key component to you achieving and sustaining your growth. That's why we've created high quality business health check tools to help you to receive the expert advice you need to achieve your business goals in an affordable and easily accesible way.


How does it work 


When you sign-up for a Stratagem Business Health-check you will receive:

  • A web link to a detailed online questionnaire - written by a member our panel of subject matter experts.
  • Once you have completed the questionnaire, you will instantly receive an overall 'health-score' for the questionnaire that you have completed.
  • Shortly afterwards, based on the answers you have in the questionnaire, you will receive a detailed and far-ranging report, again, written by one of our industry experts, that will help you to diagnose the issues that you have in your business and provide you with advice and links to additional resources to help you resolve the challenges that you are facing.
  • Within 48 hours of completing the questionnaire, you will receive a call from a Stratagem&Co Partner to arrange your follow-up Health-check Consultation.
  • During the Consultation you will be able to discuss and explore any issues that have arisen in the report and address any questions that you may have.
  • If any follow-up actions are identified, your Stratagem&Co Partner will then work with you on an individual basis to help you to resolve any further issues that you may have and develop bespoke solutions for you that closely fit your business needs and resolve your challenges. 

However we support you, the focus for us is to help you to identify and resolve the blockers that are stopping you from getting you to where you want to go – then it’s our promise to deliver a bespoke solution that fits around you and your organisation to drive your business growth. 


Get your Readiness for Change Health-check here 

To discuss the topics raised in Mark's blog, or to ask any questions, please complete the form below and leave your comments. 


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