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Executive View: How to strengthen your internal communication effectiveness

Leadership expert Dr William Holden of Sewells

Clarity of internal communication is vital in any organisation, and it starts from the leader down, says Dr William Holden, chairman of Sewells, in his latest installment of an exclusive series with AM-online, where  provides his monthly Executive View sharing insights into people and performance management to help automotive retail leaders to inspire, motivate and guide their dealership teams more effectively.

Lots of people have come to this realisation recently: “We have to re-learn how to talk to each other and stop sending emails”.

As a leader you’ll know that internal communication between teams and departments is important for any organisation to function effectively.

However, a recent survey found that the one mistake organisations make the most in managing their business is a lack of effective communication between people at all levels.  

When internal communication improves, it dramatically has a direct and positive impact on performance, employee engagement, staff retention and the customer experience.

We need to take the time to speak to each other and ensure there are no misunderstandings and that the targets, and how to achieve or exceed them, are clear.

Your organisation can build stronger teams and send performance results “ballistic” by adopting these actionable steps:

1) Encourage sharing, input and open dialogue

Good communication flows both ways; it should be open, transparent and exist across all levels. Sharing valuable insights will be helpful to drive the business forward.

Employees who work for a company with a great culture have no fear of speaking openly to anyone and always feel their views have been not only listened but also heard and considered.

2) Have managers lead by example

When your Senior Team passionately believes in and shares your joint vision and is willing to do whatever it takes to get there; they “lead by an example” that others want to follow.

If you want your team to communicate openly, clearly and consistently you need to make sure you communicate openly, clearly and consistently first. That may include you presuming you won’t be understood but misunderstood, so lots of paraphrasing or “tell me what you just heard me say” statements abound.

3) Make your vision clear, and gain employee “buy in”

Take the time to explain the company’s vision and values and win your people’s hearts and minds to play their full part in living, eating and breathing it and them.

When your teams are unified in their understanding of your organisation’s vision, they will be able to communicate with one another more effectively in order to make that a “stunning reality” and be excited and enthused by it.

4) Strengthen connections

Not only should communication be improved between employees who work together, but also between members of the team and their managers.

Leaders who take the time to get to know their people and are willing to listen to them will find it easier to communicate and keep direct reports focused on the delivered outcomes. When members of the team feel that managers are able to address their individual concerns, they are more likely to feel connected.

People at all levels, should feel that they can easily communicate with their team members as well as upper management, because this contributes to better productivity and overall results.

Note that if people aren’t asking questions, it doesn’t mean they don’t understand. It means they’re not learning!

No one is so good at communicating that there are never any questions.

The key to success in any business? Communicate, communicate, communicate.

The latest AM industry special issue

There has never been such desire for management information, for on-the-spot monitoring, for streamlining and automation, as there is now.

With this in mind, AM asked suppliers of some of the critical technologies dealers can use in their businesses, whether at the front end or in back-of-house functions, to share their latest developments and technologies for the AM Dealer Technology Guide.


Read now

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