Robust Business Ecosystems and How to Strengthen Yours

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A healthy business ecosystem is the lifeblood of your business, whether you realize it or not.

Much like the earth is comprised of land + sea + sky, the components of internal communications are process + documentation + culture. Both examples require a harmonious balance, care, and nurturing to develop a healthy and prosperous environment.

Right now, we're experiencing a business ecosystem crisis which is the primary driver of the Great Resignation. From our internal polling and my personal 1x1 interviews with hundreds of employees over the past 18 months, the environment within organizations is the number one consideration when people decide whether to reinvest in their current job or leave it. As we can all glean from the news, many office environments are not cultivating the necessary climate, which means the ecosystems are failing and dying.

What is the #1 answer to solve this problem?

Unfortunately, it's not that simple. What we DO KNOW is the answer is rarely money or title. If you have the resources, you can throw additional money at the problem for a short-term solution, but be aware that in the long run, you will still lose institutional knowledge because that staff member will likely leave after a short time.

What can we do about attrition and attraction?

  • The first step is to focus on your teams. Your existing high-caliber talent wants a voice in solution development and prioritizing which problems to solve first. Think of it this way, when your people are underperforming, or they are burning out, or even worse; they are jumping ship, the way your organization works isn't working. Your policies and human capital documents are probably out of date, or processes may be broken, and those breakdowns affect the people that do the jobs that need to be done.
  • From there, circle around to take a deep dive into how institutional knowledge is used and shared. Think about what it's like when new hires join the team; full of energy and innovative ideas but no 'organization specific' training. They don't know the lay of the land or how to grow sustainably within the job. Add to that outdated or missing documents such as visual workflow maps and job descriptions, and the newest workers seek solutions and sunshine in random ways like vines rather than growing strong foundations like tree trunks.

If you don't have mechanisms in place for sharing institutional knowledge (say, a mentor/mentee program) or a culture that encourages relationship development, the 'newbies' receive very little guidance in the form of "organizational shorthand."

  • Finally, perform Stay Interviews. Take time to nurture the entire team by memorializing what helps them grow, stimulates their development, and makes them feel like they participate in a healthy, interconnected ecosystem.

Whether your business is services, sales, or tech, internal communications are critical to the business ecosystem and the organization's health. Teams still want guidance, and they need to feel heard to understand the landscape (big picture).

You can cultivate a reputation that draws and retains high-caliber talent by simply building an environment that fosters innovation and facilitates communication exchange, if not relationship development.

If you want your teams and your company to excel, pay attention to the way work is being performed, how knowledge gets transferred, and what your teams need in order to meet, or exceed, your goals. Improve efficiency, save money, and earn loyalty by streamlining, clarifying, and listening proactively - all of which are outcomes of robust internal communications plans and policies.

The important takeaway is this: no matter the size of your business, or the industry, iterative internal communications work is a crucial factor in operational excellence.

 

 

For businesses facing fast growth, scaling, or a transition to the ‘remote-work-hybrid’, our team has solutions to help you anticipate these future hurdles and prevent overwhelm.

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About Lizabeth Wesely-Casella

Lizabeth Wesely-Casella is an internal communications corporate trainer and process improvement specialist. Her work has contributed to national health program restructuring, and she has helped businesses worldwide increase efficiency while improving staff experience. Lizabeth is an entertaining and informative speaker who shares actionable information with her audiences. To book Lizabeth for your event or podcast, visit her Speaking page.

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