As part of a project for my Masters course at Gonzaga University, I interviewed Jack Whitt, northern regional director, to discuss communication practices at GCS. Jack has been with GCS since nearly its inception and has seen the company grow over the past ten years. His experience and input was valuable to the communication audit I performed in October of 2010.
Jack works alongside many employees involved with the daily operations at GCS. In the first part of the series, we previously addressed tips for improving internal communication at the contact center. He stressed the importance of planning for communication. Here are Jack's comments on three things a company can do to improve its communication plan.
- Realize the Importance of Communication. - Just like finance, human resources and technology, communication has a place in the strategic plan of a company. You need to plan all functional areas to run a company cohesively. How you plan to distribute, reinforce and update the messages of the company must be considered. All employees should be shown how important open and clear communication is to the success of a company. Having the management team on-board with the importance of communication is a good practice for getting the associates to follow suit.
- Articulate the Communication Plan - When your company hosts a strategic planning session, the communication plan should be slated in the agenda. Not only should you discuss communication at your sites, but you should cover the overarching communication plan of the company. Make sure every member of the senior management team is aware of the plan. First, cover what and how communications will happen on a routine basis within the organization. Then outline what steps are to take place during a crisis or other public relations event. Take the time to educate those of authority on what effective communication means for your company.
- Make Communication a Managers Responsibility - As a manager, you should ask yourself "can job responsibilities be shifted in my center so communication is more streamlined for supervisors and associates?" In order for effective communication to happen, managers must be sure their associates are able to receive communication through the proper channels and within the proper timeframe. If a supervisor is too busy grabbing reports and performing monitoring sessions to answer emails or make necessary phone calls, there will be breakdowns in the communication chain. Take the time to weigh the options for task assignments and see what day-to-day tasks others should handle so managers and supervisors have the time needed to communicate effectively.
Creating effective communication strategies should become an initiative for every company, from the corporate office down to the call center floor. A great plan only succeeds with great communication.
- Improving Corporate Communications (Tips to Implement at Your Contact Center) (gcsagents.com)
- Communication Strategies in Business (thinkup.waldenu.edu)
- The Business of Communicating Values (blogs.hbr.org)
- Simple Keys to Effective Communication (psychologytoday.com)