Communications: The Key Tool of Success

Jim Luff
Posted on October 17, 2012

Don't be the one to drop the ball by failing to communicate properly.
Whether you are communicating your thoughts, your plan of action or details of a job, a 24/7 business requires clear and concise communication among the members of your team who run around the clock.

Unlike many businesses, we don't simply turn off the lights and lock the door at 5 p.m. and go home. The Show must go on 24/7.

Just the other day, someone overheard a conversation between myself and my assistant, Treanna, in which I shared details of an upcoming job and the special circumstances surrounding it. Specifically, where our bus was to park at a venue and how the parking meters on the curb would have "hoods" over them. This was done by a local police department to facilitate our visit to the venue. I was questioned on why I would share this information with her although she was not going on the trip and certainly not driving the bus.

I answered the question and explained the reasoning behind sharing it with Treanna. In this particular case, the parking plan involved me, the venue and the chauffeur assigned to this charter bus trip for a Fortune 500 company. One thing I have learned in my 22-years of industry experience is that anything can change between today and the time the trip comes to the final drop off point and conclusion. This could include the chauffeur calling in sick and the trip being reassigned to another one.

In the event that I was sick on the same day, there must be at least one other person who knows what the plan is, or else the failure to communicate this information could be disastrous and disrupt the plans of the passengers. It is important to share details with more than just the team members involved as you may find they suddenly become involved on the “day of” even if you might not have planned it that way.

Treanna and I not only work together on company related jobs but she sits on the board of directors of some charities that I preside over. We produce numerous community charity events each year including a charity golf tournament this week, another one next month and an upcoming Halloween party at our local Marriott just to name a few.

These events all have their own committee members who work at planning and executing the event, but we update each other probably 50 times a day on what we are working on, who we are working with, what has been done, what needs to be done, and who is going to get it done. God forbid anything should happen to one of us; the other should be able to knowledgeably carry on the plan without the other.

While this is just a small example of communications, hundreds of updates take place each day between our dispatchers, our drivers, our clients, our vendors and other employees to make sure that everyone knows what everyone is working on. In the event we lose a member of our team for a few days due to illness, the show still goes on and everyone is always on the same page through communications that may appear to exceed what is necessary but as, I like to say, in our business, there are no second chances.

— Jim Luff, LCT contributing editor

Related Topics: customer service, Jim Luff, operations

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