Workplace Communication: The Responsiveness Ripple Effect
By Laura Jozwiak
December 3, 2019
We can all do more to ensure effective workplace communication.
Earlier this month, I published an article in Fleet Management Weekly called Reciprocation Drives Positive Results. In this latest entry in my Customer Driven column, I examined how people tend to mirror positive interactions causing a pay-it-forward chain reaction.
This concept applies to responsiveness in both corporate settings and in our interpersonal interactions. As an organization, Wheels has always been dedicated to providing quick, honest and accurate client communication. Responsiveness is the cornerstone of our client-success focus. Yet we continue to craft new approaches to communicate these efforts and provide actionable insights for your team.
Today, we’re accomplishing this with surveys, kaizen events, and process improvement projects. Most recently, we launched a significant new Fleet Request capability based on client input. But responsiveness is a value that reaches further than client-supplier interactions. There are many audiences we serve and being intentional in these communications propels us all further.
For Better Workplace Communication, Try The Responsiveness Formula
Online troubleshooting resource pages often have a question following the text that reads:
- Was this information helpful? Yes or No
- Did this answer your question? Thumbs Up or Thumbs Down
These types of feedback forms alert webmasters whether your inquiry was resolved. If you were able to search and find a quick and helpful answer to your problem, then the resource page worked. It was easy to search; you found the solution and now you can move on.
On the other hand, perhaps you entered countless search terms without finding the right answer. Now that organization has a problem because it directed you to their resource pages instead of a live support agent and your search came up empty.
In the first scenario, there was an easy method of finding quality information. Yet in the second scenario, there were plenty of quick hits in the search query, but an actionable solution wasn’t to be found.
Speed Plus Value Equals Responsiveness
Being responsive isn’t simply telling someone you’ve received their message or rushing to provide a quick “answer” without doing the work to provide a quality solution.
Time is a limited resource so it’s important to respect that of others. So undoubtedly responses should be prompt. However, it doesn’t matter how prompt you are if the answer doesn’t meet the question asker’s expectations.
True responsiveness is providing the full equation: an honest and accurate response that is delivered in a timely manner.
Improving Workplace Communication Starts With Your Audience
When trying to adopt a more responsiveness culture be mindful of your audience.
Companies often build culture programs, but the act can easily apply to individuals. Determine your audience in your work and personal life. At work, a primary audience are those who receive your deliverables. Another is who’s impacted by the work you do. What’s your approach to serving them? Do you respond promptly and thoughtfully to leadership, but don’t provide the same attention to colleagues?
Consider your daily interactions and gauge whether you’re providing a speedy answer AND a well-thought-out, researched response. Continue this analysis with everyone you interact with regularly.
A simple way to adopt this mindset is to think about the sense of productive urgency you expect from your inquiries. Then embody that change you see in others. Chances are you’re already doing lots to be courteous, helpful and prompt when interacting with colleagues. Yet, there is always room for improvement.
Keep The Customer Service Ripple Going
Rinse and repeat. There’s no telling what level of productivity can be accomplished with valuable and timely communications. At Wheels, we’re continuing to push for higher levels of responsiveness and would like to empower you to do the same.
How do you encourage responsiveness in your everyday interactions? Let me know at firstname.lastname@example.org.