Want loyalty from your team members? Then, communication is key. Actually, I really should say “great communication.” But let’s be honest. Just communicating will go a long way.
As I write this post, I am on a Delta flight heading to Wisconsin to speak to the general managers of the Pizza Ranch chain. Their conference is taking place in a really nice resort in The Dells. (It sounds like I actually know what I’m talking about when I say “The Dells,” doesn’t it?)
Our flight started out late, which really doesn’t surprise me. Only my beloved Southwest has an incredible track record of being on time. That’s why I hate flying with anyone but them. On this flight, we didn’t actually find out we were going to be late until … we were late. Go figure.
Oh well, no big deal. I expected this kind of service. At least we were taxing out to the runway to take off. In my head, the conversation sounded something like this.
And we’re ooooooon the runway. Ready, go! Oh wait. We are pulling off to the side. Huh? That’s weird. I’m sure they will tell us what’s going on.
Is that a plane that’s going to take off ahead of us? Sure is … and another. Oh, and another.
So everyone was just sitting there wondering what the heck was going on. After about 10 minutes of watching other planes take off from the runway we were just on, we’re really wondering.
Is there something wrong with our plane? Are we going to have to head back to the terminal? Will I be late for my connection? What if I don’t make it to Wisconsin tonight? I see plenty of other people watching the planes take off. I wonder if they are thinking the same. Crud! I wish someone would just tell us what’s going on.
After a few planes, we finally pulled back onto the runway and left. Through the whole process, I was thinking how easy it would be for the captain to put us all at ease by just telling us what was up. Instead, I wondered if I was going to have to make some serious adjustments to my travel to get to the conference.
Why am I telling you all of this? It’s simple. That’s how your team feels when you don’t tell them anything. When all you do is keep them in the dark, they begin to question everything that’s happening. They begin to wonder how the silence is going to affect them. Not communicating takes your team’s eyes off of the tasks at hand and focuses them on the lack of information.
I’ve been on hundreds of Southwest planes, and I always know what’s going on. That’s why I am loyal to them. Every time it’s possible for me to fly Southwest, I do. Can your team and customers say the same?
Question: How do you see communication, or the lack there of, affecting your business?