If employees were asked to grade your company’s internal communication on a scale of 1 to 10, how do you think the company would fare?
While many companies strive to be excellent communicators, the truth is communication is hard. It takes practice, work, and intention. It takes time and effort. And while it does demand your attention, what it produces in return — a highly functional and healthy work culture — is well worth it.
For today’s post, we rounded up some suggestions from people we consider to be experts in communication — WorkHound industry leaders and the customers they serve. If your organization wants to do more walking the walk this new year when it comes to business comms, here are a few places to start.
Communication is as much — if not more — about listening to ideas as it is about sharing them. In order to build relationships with your workers — the kind that keep them satisfied and around for the long run — you’ll need to truly hear their voices and value their thoughts.
“WorkHound has helped us emphasize the value of listening,” says Jason Crowell, Director of Recruitment for Custom Commodities Transport. “Listening combined with action builds trust. Trust fosters engagement. And engagement is the secret sauce for driver discretionary efforts, ownership in the brand, and eventually, retention.”
A new piece of feedback shows up on your WorkHound dashboard. Or an employee steps into your office to share his or her thoughts about a warehouse process. Now what?
The steps you take after you hear from workers are a critical piece of the puzzle.
“Read everything that comes in,” says Debbie Monson, Driver Engagement Manager for J & M Tanklines. “Address everything. Communicate it to who you need to communicate it to. Let the driver know that you’ve read it and that you’re addressing it.”
Your response to every issue matters, especially when you’re trying to cultivate a culture built upon open and honest communication.
“The only thing worse than not surveying people is surveying them and not doing anything about what you learn,” says Eric Hanson, Vice President of Human Resource Development for J & M Tank Lines. “The tool itself isn’t useful unless you do something with it.”
Workers today want to communicate with their employers in ways that are convenient. Phone calls are time-intensive and printed communication is impractical in many modern workplaces, especially in industries like trucking and logistics. For the best opportunity at honest communication, give workers the tools they need at their literal fingertips. At WorkHound, we’ve learned that texting can be a powerful option that encourages engagement and respects everyone’s time and privacy.
What’s more, by leveraging text messages, WorkHound is able to capture information in real time, providing the company with daily insights, and creating a faster path to resolution when a problem does surface.
“What I like about WorkHound is that it’s actionable data in real-time,” says David Broyles, Director of Driver Services at Averitt. “Data is coming in every day. We’re able to look at trends and things that are happening right away.”
Everyone’s past experiences will shape their present outlook, and employment is no exception. In the trucking industry specifically, experienced drivers may be hesitant to trust a new carrier after having less-than-positive experiences with past employers.
But you don’t have to keep paying for other companies’ mistakes. Break the cycle! The best way to build trusting relationships with your employees is to be trustworthy. This includes deliberate transparency. At every opportunity, explicitly communicate what you are doing and why. Don’t just keep employees informed, keep them involved, and ask questions along the way. Get their input and do something with it. In this case, more is more and overcommunicating will set you up for a better chance at success.
“We try to do a good job of communicating at all times — of over-communicating, really,” says Cole Stevens, VP of Sales for Stevens Trucking. “Drivers don’t always have the insight about what’s going on behind the scenes that can impact their roles. We want to communicate with drivers about things we can control and even things we can’t so that they can better understand what’s going on. Otherwise they can get frustrated and simply leave.”
Looking for a meaningful way to capture employee feedback in 2023 and beyond? Sign up for a free demo to learn how WorkHound can help!