Workplace Communciation Flow 101
Eyal Steiner | Recruiting| By
Shall We Talk About It?
Proper communication flow is always the first step to improve efficiency and effectiveness in the organization (and specifically for you, recruiters). Whether it is daily and routine operations, strategic decisions, or change management – there is much to gain by better flow of information. I have stressed that before and I will again – proper communication flow with candidates, new hires, and hiring managers can go a long way to improve candidate engagement, recruitment process satisfaction, and successful hires.
The reality is that most of us don’t object to the idea of communication and information sharing, but we barely have the time, resources, and often the will to communicate more than the minimum we are required to in order to get our job done. The good news is that it is not needed that everyone in the organization communicate with their colleagues – in fact that would be rather chaotic. Instead, there is a fine line between too little and too much communication
The Flow of Information Matrix
Before we look for the best case scenario, let’s first try to understand what communication inside an organizations is. We can look at it in a simple matrix:
I am making the distinction between hierarchy and work relationships because normally, work relationships are able to carry far more information than hierarchy relationships. While it is important to build healthy relationships between managers and their staff, the ability to create healthy relationships with your peers is far more beneficial to you and to the organization (think for a moment about the limitations of vertical communication and the endless possibilities of horizontal communication).
As for communication between and within teams – that is an easier distinction to make. Work relationships between teams are hard to maintain, but their existence significantly improves the agility and redundancy in organizations and teams, therefore making it less exposed for negative effects of unexpected external and internal events.
Keep Workplace Cohesion at Bay, Spiral Out to Other Team
So what’s proper communication? How well do I need to be connected and communicate to truly be more efficient at what I do?
A recent study suggests that too little and too much workplace cohesion hurts performance. Whether you work in a team with other recruiters or other HR functions (training, learning, business partners, etc.), communicating properly inside the team can go a long way in solving problems, or at the very least – be aware of them. However, when your team becomes a friends’ club and you spend too much time socializing internally, you certainly have less time to socialize with people outside the team and generally have less time to do actual work.
As for communication with other teams (and in this case, mostly with hiring managers) – from my experience, you can never go wrong with more communication here. It is not an easy thing to create and maintain, takes many resources, but brings you and your team far greater value than you can imagine. Some of the greatest feedback for you and your peers hides there.
When you want to create better communication and collaboration with someone outside your team, you must be mindful that until you establish it, you are “wasting” their time. So how can we build it anyway?
- Coffee corner conversations – everyone is looking for a light conversation during their coffee break. This is where innovation happens. Not a coffee drinker? Better look at this article.
- Find areas of matching expertise and personal interests – you will find this makes breaking the ice much easier. You can use Twitter or Facebook to ignite the conversation and take it from there.
- Compliment and offer constructive criticism (when asked!) – there are two great ways for making people not want to communicate and collaborate with you – offering advices when no one asked for it and always offering negative feedback. Don’t be that guy/gal.
Sharing information is not easy. Never is. It is resource consuming and sometimes requires you juggle a political or bureaucratic hell. Luckily, it is well worth it. What you learn and the information you share enables you to do your work better, makes sure you are always up-to-date, and makes it very hard to surprise you. All in turn end up saving you time rather sooner than later.