BUSINESS MANAGEMENT - COMMUNICATION

This is the ninth of a series of newsletters published on Business Management and Management Skills. Not all topics discussed will apply to your business, but each section will be beneficial to establish company goals and objectives. By reading and studying these newsletter articles, you’re taking the first step in achieving your goals.

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This topic is broken down into two separate aspects of communication. The first involves the mode of communication with your field employees while they are out on the job. There are two popular choices available to you. One is a beeper, but some employees consider the beep as a source of annoyance. In addition, very often a phone is not readily available to return the call. This may result in lost time while they travel to or locate a phone. Then there are the bookkeeping tasks of repaying them for money spent on pay phones.

The second is by the use of cell phones. Considering the amount of congestion on our nation’s highways today, the additional cost of having virtually instant communication may be justified by increased efficiency and avoidance of unnecessary travel time. An employee can be contacted to take charge of an emergency job, or change of schedule, or refrain from making a cancelled call. The economic advantages of having affordable communication with key field personnel are considerable. A selection of beepers and cell phones may prove to be the best option. Some employees would be issued beepers, while others cell phones.

Don’t be overly concerned about the initial cost of the system you choose. Amortize it over the anticipated life of the equipment, and it will not seem so scary. Don’t buy on price alone; select the system that will give you the performance you need. Be sure to review exit options should decisions need to be revised.

The second aspect of communication is the one you maintain with your employees. An unhappy or disturbed employee is usually nonproductive. Find out what their problems are. What are their needs? What kind of conflict exists with other employees, their supervisor or management that you can clear up? Often it takes only a sympathetic ear to help an employee get back on track. Let them know you care about and have concerns for them, and not simply that their work has been impacted negatively. This approach helps to make you appear as a genuinely caring person, not as an isolated figure interested in what you can get out of them.

Mike Holt’s Comment: This newsletter article was extracted from Mike Holt’s Business Management and Management Skills’ Workbook. Watch for our next newsletter, and as always, we invite your comments and feedback. Send us your real-life experiences. We value your opinions and participation. Please respond to Barbara at bjparks@atlantic.net.

Copyright © 2002 Mike Holt Enterprises,Inc.
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