Employee Engagement

Shark Tank’s Barbara Corcoran Talks Opening Employee Dialogue for Business Success

By

Jennifer Byrd

| Sep 27, 2019

Communication is not an option. The only true choice is whether to actively participate in it, because a lack of dialogue speaks volumes about a company’s leadership and directly impacts its ability to succeed in today’s competitive marketplace.

According to The Holmes Report, the total estimated cost of lost productivity from communication barriers is $37 billion, with a cumulative cost per worker of $26,041 annually. And if you’re not proactively conversing with employees, chances are they aren’t reaching out to you, either. Leaders would likely agree, if people don’t talk it out, they will act it out.

“Silence is never a good report card in business. It usually means you're losing the battle with good communication.”

From change management initiatives to helping employees get answers to common questions, effective, but professional discourse is crucial. So, how can businesses elevate their efforts to help keep employees happy, engaged and productive?

A change is coming

Most people don’t jump up and down with excitement when they hear things are changing. It doesn’t matter if it’s new workplace technology or phasing out old processes; organizational transformation is often met with resistance.

ABC’s Shark Tank star Barbara Corcoran believes that advanced planning is the best way to overcome opposition to transformation.

“No one likes a change. And what they really don’t like is a surprise change that happens quickly,” she said in a recent episode of the HR Break Room podcast. “So giving long, advanced notice, and giving meaningful information as to what’s going to be involved and not giving too much information – that’s an art of communication that’s essential.”

Additionally, Corcoran recommends leaders solicit feedback because two-way communication sets the tone for the whole organization, making it vital for business success.

“Getting open communication from the most important players and executing the plan in advance is very important, which is giving (employees) permission to be truthful.”

Handling employee questions

How many forwarded emails, rounds of phone tag and drop-by visits should it take for workers to get answers? For organizations focused on elevating the employee experience, the response should be “zero.”

A direct line of communication is imperative to ensure employees know where to ask questions. For example, Paycom’s Ask HereTM tool directly connects employees to answers, skipping the middleman so inquiries are handled with speed and accuracy.

“Let me address the Ask Here aspect of that, is genius.”

Employees have access to the system 24/7, allowing them to submit questions whenever, wherever from their Employee Self-Service® mobile app. This reduces HR’s administrative burden while putting everyone on the path to increased engagement and productivity – a long-desired goal of HR professionals everywhere.

About the Author

Jennifer Byrd

As a marketing writer at Paycom, Jennifer Byrd crafts copy for internal and external communications related to human capital management. A former journalist and public relations professional, she has written a variety of materials for multiple industries, including energy, construction, manufacturing and real estate. Byrd holds a bachelor’s degree in strategic communications from the University of Central Oklahoma with a minor in marketing. Outside the office, she loves to kayak, paddleboard and plan new adventures with her two boys.

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