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Effective Communication

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Effective Communication

Effective communication is the "life's blood" of an organization. Organizations that are highly successful have strong communications. One of the first signs that an organization is struggling is that communications have broken down. In order to maintain communications within an organization, policies and guidelines should be set in place. There must also be tools to measure the effectiveness of those guidelines. The following tools are very basic in nature, but comprise the basics for ensuring strong ongoing, internal communications.

1. Have all employees provide weekly written status reports to their supervisors

Include what tasks were done last week, what tasks are planned next week, any pending issues and date the report. These reports may seem a tedious task, but they're precious in ensuring that the employee and their supervisor have mutual understanding of what is going on, and the reports come in very handy for planning purposes. They also make otherwise harried employees stand back and reflect on what they're doing.

2. Hold monthly meetings with all employees together. In these meetings review the overall condition of the organization and review recent successes. Consider conducting "in service" training where employees take turns describing their roles to the rest of the staff. For clarity, focus and morale, be sure to use agendas and ensure follow-up minutes. Consider bringing in a customer to tell their story of how the organization helped them. These meetings go a long way toward building a feeling of teamwork among staff.

3. Hold weekly or biweekly meetings with all employees together if the organization is small (e.g., under 10 people); otherwise, with all managers together. Have these meetings even if there is not a specific problem to solve -- just make



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