Communication is fundamental to any relationship in life and businesses are no different in this requirement in respect of the relationship between clients, products and systems. Communication is important in creating a seamless systematic function which enables the client requirements to be met such that the business objectives can be achieved. Think of communication as the road network that enables the business objective to travel from point A to point B. If the road network is defined appropriately, then the journey will make sense. However, if the road is not clear then the business could take any direction.
Vision, objectives and mission
The business defines where it wants to go, and if this is not communicated well to its employees then the set-up of the business may not be complete to achieve the vision. Communication of the vision must be crystal clear as it helps the strategist to implement the right support structures to enable the business to achieve its objectives. If the business wants to grow by serving small-to-medium enterprises (SMEs), but ends up serving individuals, then clearly somewhere along the line the vision, objectives and mission were not communicated well.
Communication of the vision, objectives and mission must be done by the chief executive officer to his lieutenants who in turn must be able to communicate the same message to their subordinates. Like any good communication system, the message must be repeated time and again. When we communicate a message, it is always good to check if the message is being understood. This can be done by checking the company results, its market share, its market growth, its infrastructure and investments. The assets of the company also reflect if the company is investing according to its vision. When a strategy session is done, the company must be able to assess if it is still pursuing the company vision, objectives and mission.
The most disruptive relationships in a company are failed interdepartmental communication lines. If departments or company sections are not able to function well, the result is inefficiency and failed business optimisation. Departments can fail to understand each other in that, what the sales department tries to achieve is not communicated well with the purchasing department, while the debtor’s team might have different objectives from the rest of the finance department. At the end of the department, silos are created which disrupt smooth operations. Communication is fundamental to high efficiency. Communication can be achieved by enabling meetings for day-to-day communication. Communication must become part of the culture and not be used as a political tool.
When a company fails to speak to clients, the clients can become disengaged from the company. Clients want to feel that they are part of the company and how a company communicates with them is important. Communication is important in such areas as when there is a disruption of service, new offerings, new branch changes, and other different events. Also important is communication in customer service as it enables client satisfaction as well.
Most companies leak revenue because their systems are not integrated and fail to address the communication gaps. These communication gaps result in the company failing to operate according to set plans, visions, objectives and mission. The top line might be compromised and fails to meet the intended targets, while the bottom line can constitute components which are not planned for in the business model.
l Winston Zvirikuzhe is an Assurance executive at one of the telecom companies in Zimbabwe with extensive experience in strategy and performance management, as well as audit, risk and advisory services.
Feedback is on firstname.lastname@example.org