Improving Communication Where I Work

Question to Ask the Workplace Doctors about improving communication: Making sure everyone is on the same page with issues is crucial in any organization. My question is: How can I make my organization communicate more effectively?

I work at a YMCA and a big thing that plays a role in success for the organization is communication. Making sure everyone is on the same page with issues is crucial in any organization. My question is: How can I make my organization communicate more effectively?

Signed, Making It Effective

Dear Making It Effective:

I’m sure you have come to appreciate what your local Y does, and, if you have worked there long, you have become aware of its outreach to the neighborhood and needs for funding. Once you encounter its day to day efforts to provide a healthy environment for young people and the community you will begin to be a problem solver for your organization. Communication is the glue that holds the organization together and the lubricant that enables scheduling and carrying out of its programs. I predict that you asking this question in practical ways as you interact with coworkers and clients.

Its answer is not a matter of you making communication effective but of you facilitating communication; providing information needed and engaging management and coworkers in addressing that question to specific situations; to creating agenda for staff meetings, analyzing what is wanted and needed, and getting buy-in to solutions. Just as a sports team conducts skull sessions before and after its games, you and your coworkers need plan, review and decide what you will do next to correct what didn’t work. Sport teams teach us that playing together doesn’t just happen. Smooth and winning play demands direction, practice and huddling.

I could say more, but your question lacks details. But I will add, if you see the Y as a career, you are joining an organization with a long and rich history. Have you studied it? Can you talk about its core values? Can you describe it nation-wide and world-wide reach? My father, like many young men, lived in a Y while attending business school and working at his first job. Did you know that? So soak up the organization’s history and tell its current stories; of the lives you see bettered by your programs, of the young men who turn away from drugs and of those who volunteer to help those less fortunate because of the Y. My best to you as you seek to make the Y more effective. Send us specifics about what you and your local Y are doing. Working together with hands, head, and heart takes and makes big WEGOS.

William Gorden