Nowadays, “good communication” is expected in all areas of life and work. However, the term is not as self-explanatory as it appears at first glance and brings with it implicit and even unconscious expectations. In order to communicate correctly within a company and in one’s own marketing, it is helpful to know them.
Contact with customers is undoubtedly a decisive factor for the success of a company. The quality of this can be judged by points such as:
- Response speed
Be measured. But good communication is not only important to the outside world – customers place great trust in the services and products provided. In order not to betray this trust and to guarantee the expected quality, correct communication must also take place within the company.
Although the market relevance is well known, quality managers often fight for resources, acceptance and support – both at management level and among employees. In critical situations in particular, financial aspects and meeting deadlines may seem more important than quality assurance. However, this can be prevented with the right communication. When the topic of quality is brought up positively, it encourages managers and employees alike to deal with it willingly instead of feeling it as a burden.
How do I get better access to my audience?
Of course you don’t want to be labeled as a “nagger” in your company. Therefore, make sure to always use positive formulations, yourself – or especially if you want to draw attention to problems or potential for improvement .
The importance of addressing quality management is particularly well imprinted on your colleagues when you conjure up mental images during a meeting or presentation:
- The right words
- Fantastic, emotional stories or
- Concrete examples
work wonders in emphasizing the importance of quality management or the lack thereof with the corresponding consequences for the company.
These means can be very creative and dramatically exaggerated as long as they emphasize what you want to convey. A mental picture of a specific case – whether hypothetical or real – generates dismay, understanding, motivation and increased (responsibility) awareness for one’s own quality management. Verbal and visual impressions are particularly advantageous, for example in a lecture supported by meaningful images.
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Appeal to sense organs?
Of course, if possible, other senses can also be addressed, such as touch or taste: Imagine you have been entrusted with the selection of new types of tea for the breakfast buffet of a luxury hotel. Here your presentation would be enriched by smell and taste samples. If you are to equip the same hotel with new upholstery, fabric samples could serve as an illustration.
Also use breaks and questions that you do not answer directly yourself. This gives your audience the opportunity to develop their own thoughts and solutions instead of just listening passively. Mutual collaboration prevents concentration strays and encourages personal involvement.
If you have to explicitly point out errors, don’t look for culprits, but instead look for opportunities for improvement. This positive error culture makes the employees willing to report errors and seek solutions and, if necessary, to ask for help instead of sweeping problems under the table out of shame or fear.
Quality assurance is a continuous process of problem solving and optimization that cannot be managed by just one person, but requires close cooperation through open discussions.
Quality improvement through communication – an example
In order to remain competitive, a company must constantly keep its eyes open for opportunities for optimization, which the establishment of a quality management system can make a decisive contribution to, for example.
A QMS not only facilitates the quality assurance process, it is also required to reliably meet the applicable standard requirements and customer expectations. Management systems must be understood and supported by the entire workforce, which is why they must be “sold” well in order to be able to establish them effectively.
The prospect of overtime, necessary changes in behavior and external control in process optimization often lead to rejection by employees. Therefore, newly introduced ideas and systems in the company must be marketed just as well as offered to customers. This includes noting that different target groups have different expectations and desires. Management may be more interested in a clear cost/benefit presentation, while employees are happy that clarity and easy access to relevant content, links and documents make their work process easier and faster. Communicate the advantages of the new QMS adapted to people (groups).
Just as you convince employees of a topic by creating mental images, you present changes or new introductions such as a QMS ideally if you also show a personal advantage here. Emphasize that the QMS can be used not only for important but perhaps burdensome quality assurance, but also for points that at first glance have nothing to do with quality management. An intra-office info feed, canteen plan or games make the system more interesting for everyday use.
Last but not least
The accumulated internal company knowledge can be called up and expanded by everyone, which proves to be an advantage when long-standing, experienced specialists leave and successors have to be trained. Discussion forums, chat rooms and feedback functions also enable the transfer of knowledge between old and new employees, as well as better exchange between employees and managers.
The quality of a company, a product or a service is not only reflected in the way it is presented to the customer. The right communication is also of fundamental importance for internal suggestions for quality assurance and for the constant (self-)improvement of your company.
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