Keep Your Information Flow Flowing
We live in an age where information flows at the speed of light. From e-mails and text messages to all sorts of social media apps and live satellite feeds from anyplace in the world where news is happening.
Historically, information flow at salons and spas can be inconsistent, excruciatingly slow, or, even worse, completely absent.
The result is missed opportunities, lack of team effort, and lost revenue.
The problem with poor information flow is that you have no clue how inconsistent it really is until you do some exploring.
The obvious indicators of poor information flow sound like...
- “I didn’t know”
- “Why didn’t I know?”
- “I thought this is what you wanted.”
- “Why didn’t I know this was happening?”
Even if you think information is flowing well throughout your company, there are leaks — and you need to find them.
To help get started on assessing how well your information-flow systems are flowing, use the following four-step process:
- Good systems are no guarantee: Information flow is not only systems-driven, it’s behavior and culture-driven. Add a healthy dose of discipline and accountability to the mix and your systems stand a chance of working. Even in the best conditions, if employees ignore the information that’s flowing toward them, systems can fail. KEY: Indifference and laziness are the major causes of information-flow inconsistencies and failures. Do you lead with the intent to create and maintain an accountable and disciplined company culture? If not, the leaks will be major. And the water is already past your knees and rising. Engage.
- Gotta do the sports analogy: In football, teams huddle before every play so every player knows his role and what’s going to happen the instant the ball is snapped. As a salon/spa business coaching company, we see too many company players (employees) running with the ball in the wrong direction. They not only don’t know the plays, they don’t know where the goal line is. KEY: Daily business huddles are a must-do. If you’re not doing daily huddles, your company has information-flow leaks. If you are doing daily huddles, how clearly are the plays (strategies) and goals being communicated?
- Find your information-flow balance: When it comes to information and data, there is such a thing as too much information. I know we just got you fired up to open the information floodgates, but overloading your team with a barrage of information — especially numbers — can backfire. KEY: Even though you’re putting the information out there, some team members won’t get it or will just ignore it. Likewise, flooding your team with information can bog them down with too much information to process rather than engaging in the work that needs to be done. Translation: Everyone is working really hard and nothing is getting done.
- Clarity is everything: When it comes to information flow, keeping it short and sweet is just a beautiful thing — it’s the only thing. Think of your information-flow system as a pipeline. That pipeline can only handle so much volume. Trying to push too much volume through it can cause it to spring leaks and eventually burst. KEY: Recurring information-flow leaks drive leaders crazy — and frustrate employees. Leaks can always be traced back to the leader. Communicate concisely and with clarity. Remember this simple information-flow rule: What, why, how, and when.
Here’s my challenge to you: Every salon/spa needs to monitor its information-flow systems for leaks and inconsistencies. And every company’s information-flow systems need to be upgraded and evolve in sync with its growth and current reality.
Now, go find your information-flow leaks and fix them. You won’t have to look very hard.