Communication serves as the life blood and energy of an organization linking the organization’s departments and its employees together. If a leader is not intentionally communicating with his or her employees, employees may make up their own story or communicate information that may not be reflective of the leader’s intention or direction. Moreover, how leaders communicate with employees is often the only lens through which their colleagues view them and their goals for the organization.
Consider only the last statement; if “how leaders communicate” is the lens through which others views them, then effective communication is a must. That is, leaders must create intentional and structured forms of communication so that all employees are working toward common goals to achieve meaningful results. Failure to do so may lead to headlines like this, “Study reveals distrust of senior leaders,” captioned from he 2014 Navy Retention Study survey and included in last Sunday’s Pensacola News Journal (09.07.2014) and may lead to similar employee perception about leadership and employee morale:
One-half (50.1%) of Sailors do not believe their leaders hold themselves accountable;
Fifty-one percent (51.3%) of Sailors do not believe leadership cares what they think;
Thirty-seven (37.2%) percent of Sailors regard senior leadership as “marginal” or “poor”; and
Forty-two percent (42.2%) of Sailors believe morale is “marginal” or “poor.”
Effective communication begins when all levels of leadership communicate consistent and transparent organizational actions. Leaders accomplish this when they focus on areas of communication from diagnosing how employees feel about the level of communication to communicating to employees where the organization is headed and providing avenues for employee input. Grounding communication in this way, with a consistent and results-driven message, provides a support-focused environment where employees can continuously achieve, engage, and improve.
The entire 2014 Navy Retention Study is available at http://www.dodretention.org. From the report’s Executive Summary, “the 2014 Navy Retention Study survey focused heavily on quality of service indicators to seek out areas where the Navy is perceived to be succeeding and where additional investments might provide the greatest returns. Quality of Service is deﬁned by three equally important pillars of naval service: Quality of Work, Quality of Life, and Quality of Leadership.”
“Study reveals distrust of senior leaders.” Pensacola News Journal, September 7, 2014, p. 3F.
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