From the Desk of Lynn Woolf: October 9, 2012
16,215 for women and 15,669 for men: That’s how many words are spoken each day, according to research from the Univ. of Texas at Austin. Do the math for your dealership based on the number of employees and it’s easy to see there’s a whole lot of talking in a day. But, communicating is different than talking. And, experts say many business leaders struggle with employee communication.
“If you ask any business leader what their number one issue is, most would say it is communication,” says Monte Wyatt, an executive coach based in Des Moines, Iowa.
In this issue of eBrief, our ongoing “Communicate” series takes a look at how to improve communication with employees to achieve better results.
If you think your internal communication methods are lacking, you’re not alone. Manufacturers, too, look for better ways to communicate with internal audiences, especially dealers.
Erik Memmo, Briggs & Stratton’s vice president of dealer sales for North America, says the company overhauled its dealer communication program earlier this year.
“Our different departments were communicating with dealers using different methods and different formats. Much of that information was either overlooked or lost. What we really needed to do was have more structure,” Memmo says.
That structure now includes Monday evening dealer emails with information from all the departments, including marketing, parts, service and finance. Mid-month, the company provides dealers with a counter sheet for promotions coming the next month. A monthly dealer newsletter provides more details on the information in the weekly emails. The company also beefed up its online dealer portal to be a one-stop source for technical and promotional information.
“Dealers now have an expectation of how they should get their information, when to expect it, and where they can go to find more information,” says Memmo.
What about you? Have you recently implemented new employee communication initiatives? Or, maybe you have tried-and-true methods that always brings results. We hope to share these ideas in upcoming stories, so share your ideas below or email me.
Also, weigh in on the topic in our “Dealer-to-Dealer” question below, “What is your best method for communicating with employees?”
One other stat to ponder regarding communication: According to the Univ. of Missouri-Extension, the average listener hears, understands and retains only about 50% of what was said.
Meet Us at GIE+Expo
We're looking forward to the chance to talk with manufacturers and dealers in person at GIE+Expo. Visit us in booth 261, just outside the Dealer Resource Pavilion, or contact us to schedule a time to meet: Michael Ellis, publisher, 262-794-7280, firstname.lastname@example.org or Lynn Woolf, managing editor, 316-648-3717, email@example.com.
See you there!