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By Wayne Rivers, Family Business Institute
You're probably weary of writers exhorting you to step up the frequency and quality of your company communications, and what you’re about to read may strike you as counterintuitive. After all, the pandemic appears to be flattening, and things are beginning to get a little more “back to normal.”
Why is it, then, that you should be communicating more now, and why is it important?
Just in the last few weeks we've been getting some troubling reports from our contractor peer group members. One said that 60% of his 2021 volume is at risk. Another said he is forecasting to be off 15% next year. A third said that he is facing a half million-dollar loss in 2020 — a huge turnabout from his original positive forecast — due to project delays.
Contractors have seen their strong, healthy backlogs decline, projects are being pushed into the future, new work prospects are slightly down, and suddenly the outlook for 2021 and beyond looks less rosy. What does all this have to do with communication?
Well, in the absence of clearly presented information, people make things up. And the things they make up are almost always worse than reality. As Barney Fife would say, you need to “Nip this in the bud!” Construction leaders need to communicate a clear picture of what the future looks like and what actions you're going to take to make a worsening business climate more livable. Here are four tips for getting ahead of the messaging curve and staying there:
In the movie A Few Good Men, Jack Nicholson and Tom Cruise have one of the most famous courtroom scenes in the history of film. Nicholson becomes agitated and bellows, “You can't handle the truth!” Your employees CAN handle the truth. They want it; they want reality and leadership. Communicating more now in challenging times can cement your leadership and paint a pathway to a better future for the benefit of everyone on your team.