Communication ‘Don’ts’ that are destructive for your business
Bad corporate communication is the downfall of many businesses. While good communication, between a company and its customers and employees, can help a firm increase market share and competitiveness, improve customer service and satisfaction, and keep employees happy. Bad communication, on the other hand, does the exact opposite. Listed below are the biggest communication ‘Don’ts’.
1. Too many Big Words
Communication experts make sure to use audience-appropriate language that’s brief, convincing and structured to transfer a message. Bad communication in business often takes form when too many big words and highly complex sentence structuring are used to convey a simple point. One example is that of communication training consultant Dianna Booher, who recalls a Fortune 500 company manager who wrote a 40-word, nearly incomprehensible sentence just to say he was the training director.
2. Lying and withholding Information
Company representatives often want to hide the truth to not cause panic amongst their employees (ex. during crisis situations) or when it can dent their image or that of the company. Modern communication technology however makes it easier for journalists and the public to uncover lies or half-truths, and when these facts come out, corporate credibility takes a blow. Communicating clearly, accurately, frequently and truthfully will maintain trust within the company and put all speculation to rest. Those who do decide to hide the truth, should recall Bill Clinton, Tiger Woods and Lance Armstrong.
3. Selfish Communication and lack of Follow-Through
Bad business communication often takes place when someone fails to return telephone calls or emails, and especially when that person (purposely) forgets to say thank you for favors done or to report back when expected to do so. “Let’s face it, no one likes feeling that they’ve been used. What’s more, as the pattern becomes evident, more and more of “the used” become reticent, if not resentful, and reach a point where they don’t care to be used any longer’’, says Jamie S. Walters, author of Big Vision, Small Business.
4. Insufficient knowledge of the Communication Process
Communication novices often think communication entails only one thing: sending messages. However, experienced professionals are aware that successful communication includes listening, responding to feedback, targeting messages to stakeholders and selecting the right medium for the message. They base strategy on research, so the message reaches the right target audience in the best way possible.
5. Eliminate Corporate SPAM: No Bulk Email
In 2006, Radio Shack laid off 400 workers by email without notice. The employees were given 30 minutes to collect their personal belongings, say their goodbyes to co-workers and then attend a meeting with their senior supervisors. The now bankrupt American electronics retail chain did not only receive backlash from the public for being insensitive, also the employees that were still employed thought the email was highly inappropriate to communicate such important news. This made employee morale drop to an all-time low. Instead of sending out a bulk email Radio Shack should have used a more personal approach: phone call, face-to-face conversation or personalized letter to inform their laid-off employees.
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