16Practice 5: Master Communication

Burt was production manager of a small machine shop. The company had been going through some rough times and employees were on edge, apprehensive about their jobs.

The company owner had been working on a merger that promised to pump extra cash into the business and increase sales through the addition of a supplemental line of products.

Unfortunately, he failed to let Burt and his employees know in time, and Burt lost most of his highly skilled welding crew to a competitor across town. The company hustled to hire hard-to-find replacements, but not in time to prevent a really bad quarter. The business came close to shutting down.

As a leader it's your responsibility to show employees that you really care about them by keeping them posted on company plans, results, and problems.

Since the 2008 downturn in the economy, people feel vulnerable and overwhelmed. They are also worried about cutbacks and layoffs. Communicate everything to them by letting them know what is happening in your company, team, or department. Open the lines of communication and let people know that you care about their job performance and about their personal lives. Effective leaders place a high value on human capital.

Another major leadership issue is information sharing, keeping people in the loop so they can perform their jobs efficiently. I always say, “Communicate, communicate, ...

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