We hope the previous two posts in this series (#1 and #2) have made you think about engagement with process improvement within your organisation. This post is about something lots of people don't do well...
4. Are you communicating regularly and effectively?
Everyones' busy...if you go silent on process improvement, that hard-won engagement can disappear quickly, and momentum can be lost. So you need to help teams understand their 'what's in it for me' factor, and communication is key to this. You should plan your communication - a plan is vital to ensure you know when you'll communicate, what you'll communicate, to whom, and how.
How you communicate will depend on who you are communicating with, what you are communicating and what existing communication channels you have in place at your organisation. Remember, face to face communication is king, but other forms of communication, like email, newsletters and intranet communications can be effective too. We are often told by our clients that it's not about telling the 'story' once, it's about telling the same story a thousand times!
So your plan must repeatedly reinforce the messages that you used to kick off your initiative i.e. what are we doing, why are we doing it and how are we doing it. 'War stories' or success stories are also a key way of engaging your staff and showing them the value of improving your processes. There is nothing like hearing from one of your colleagues about something that has worked well for them - it might just give you that 'eureka' or 'light bulb' moment!
Another tip that really works - successful communication comes in all forms, a bit of creativity works wonders. Many of our clients have had good success with competitions, like competitions with the answers being found within process content, or rewards for the most process activity for a given month.
So, plan, be consistent and repetitive with your messages and above all share those successes!