If You Answer This Question, You Can Create a Better Work Environment

Author: David McMillin       

Members of events teams spend a lot of time away from the office and away from each other. One might be on a site visit while another travels for a meeting, and another is working from home. As leaders try to make all those distant employees feel like they’re part of the same team, Marla Harr, a consultant and trainer at Business Etiquette International, thinks that creating a sense of unity starts with one simple question: How does everyone like to communicate?

“If you’re on site or out of the office, you have to ask how each of your team members prefers to communicate,” Harr told PCMA in advance of her Oct. 25 webinar “Your Office Culture Is Killing Your Team.” “Maybe the Baby Boomer wants you to pick up the phone and call and the Gen X-er prefers email. Maybe the Millennials like short text messages.”

“Adjust your communication with each individual, so that you reach out in their preferred channel,” Harr said. “That shows respect. If I know that someone likes to text and I start most of my conversations [away from the office] with a text, it lets the person know that I am paying attention to what they want.”

In today’s always-on business environment, Harr stresses the importance of communicating even when on-site duties require attention. “It’s important to respond in a timely manner,” Harr said. “If you can’t get all the information they need immediately, at least let them know that you received the note. Your phone lets you call, text, email, FaceTime, and update Google Docs. Even when you’re dealing with the stresses of managing on-site pressures, there is always time to respond.”

Communication isn’t the only concern, though. If you’re looking for more insights into overcoming some of the most common challenges that affect teams, click here to register for Harr’s webinar at 1 p.m. CT on Oct. 25. Registration is free, and participants can earn one clock hour toward their CMP certification.

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