Internal communication is such a simple topic it is nearly always forgotten as a strategic element of organizational performance. When was the last time anyone read a company’s strategic plan and found a section on internal communication? And yet how and when we communicate is so important to an organization’s culture, and central to a performance culture.
First things first. A performance culture is about performing; achieving objectives. In order for any team to achieve an objective the team needs to have a constant awareness of their attainment level toward that goal. Whether on the battlefield, the playing field, or the office, awareness of position in relation to the objective is foundational. We cannot move a team forward if we don’t know where they are and where they are headed. The same is true for the individual.
Because communication about objective attainment is a cornerstone of a performance culture, it connects to the very fabric of the team’s spirit. Communication needs to be understood as a web interconnecting all employees and because of that is critical to the recognition program.
Communications also need to follow the golden management rule of praise in public and criticize in private. With the caveat that team performance is for team awareness. Individual performance is for team awareness when exemplary (i.e. tied to the recognition program LINK) and private when less so.
A performance culture also requires communication to be action-focused. If providing communication to the individual about the person’s performance, how is training being connected? (See my blog on Training HERE). If the information is compliance-focused, what specific behavior changes are required? Back to training and action again. Every piece of communication needs to be connected to an action that improves performance.
A performance culture requires organizations to embrace communication as a cornerstone of their operation. To tap the spirit of the people and drive performance, how we are communicating the objective attainment and what specific actions are expected, is a strategic imperative. Ensure the people know where they are, and where they are going, and then train them on how to get there.