Our culture at EPM puts a high priority on listening to understand and making sure the person you are communicating with is being heard.
It’s all part of our leading from the bottom-up philosophy. Our consumer is the number one priority. They need to feel safe with the team around them because, in homeownership, they are making a huge investment in the future. And for many, it’s the highest stakes investment they will make.
If we can build trust and show our team that they are valued, if we can build authentic alliances to increase our capabilities and make our organization stronger, that translates directly to a benefit for the consumer.
Saying we want open communication, trust, and transparency is different from learning and living it. It’s consistent practice and we take intentional steps every day to be accessible and available to lead by example.
Communication Builds Confidence
The consumer is going to feel empowered and informed when our team members feel empowered and informed. Whether we are dealing with new hires or people who have been part of EPM for years, everybody should be able to count on transparency. Marcus Buckingham spoke at the MBA conference and he nailed it when he said, “People don’t mind change, they mind uncertainty.”
They don’t mind if you tell it like it is in a respectful tone. The more we build out our information channels, the more we can support the organization to strengthen our intuition and make the most informed decisions as the market changes, the industry changes, and the organization changes.
We are committed to being clear on what is holding us back, where there are areas for improvement, and what we don’t know. We don’t need to hide it, and it’s not in our best interest to keep information from our employees. If you are speaking from a place of authenticity, and sharing the best information, you are building a culture of trust and your team will have more loyalty and buy-in within the organization, the culture, and the efforts we are making to empower our communities.
Communication is a Two-Way Street.
We have to engage with our teams and our clients by meeting people where they’re at. What works best for them and the shared situation. Text, social media, and emails have a place as we make tech advances that simplify and streamline our processes. But we need face-to-face actual conversation to remain transparent, save time and reduce misunderstandings and misinterpretations, especially in situations of heightened importance or heightened investment. Human-to-human conversations will always trump technology when we are working out complex or sensitive issues.
The shifts in the last couple of years have made authentic conversations more accessible through video conferencing and calls, and real-time voice-to-voice technology. You can have a meaningful and necessary conversation with somebody across the country, keeping us more connected, and more in sync as we work together to move forward.
Integrate Healthy Communication Practices As Often as Possible
A huge part of communication is to show gratitude to each person you lead. They are the ones developing those strong consumer bonds and partnerships with each other and outside alliances. They are the ones bringing fresh insights, they are the ones with the expertise to take our projects and processes to the next level, and they are the ones who make large and small sacrifices so our organization can reach our shared mission and vision.
These people deserve to feel seen. It will also help to make them feel heard, and help reduce defensive reactions when there is a conflict or a crisis at hand. Increasing the amount of positive authentic connections, and even lighthearted moments will improve the health of the culture across the organization.
We work every day to find new ways to come together to connect, enjoy moments, share information, and show radical transparency and a spirit of transparency and grace. When we show up for each other, we are able to show up better every day for our communities.