Communication is crucial in any workplace. But, if you own a small business that’s growing, you may find it difficult to keep up. Read on for a few tips on how to implement and improve your company’s communication plan. The Magazine of the Chief Communication Officers is pleased to present content that adds value to our readers’ lives.
Invest in technology
There are many ways that technology can improve your communications. A few ideas include utilizing an online platform, such as Google Docs/Sheets, and having your employees install an instant messaging program, such as Slack, on their devices.
Google’s online suite of office products offers real-time collaboration on documents, including spreadsheets, forms, and slides. Authorized users can edit and leave suggestions that everyone can see and react to. If you’re working outside of the cloud, consider using a PDF file merger to reduce the number of individual documents your team has to review. In addition to being easier to access, you can save your PDFs in whatever order makes the most sense for your company. For instant and organized communication outside of documents, Slack and other team collaboration tools help pertinent parties stay abreast of changes.
Consider communication part of your culture
Your company’s culture is the type of working environment that you strive for. It sets the tone for how your employees respond and react to one another. Make sure that effective communication is part of your daily operations. Two ways to do this are to openly communicate yourself and prioritize conflict management.
Openly communicating with your employees, whether in person, through newsletters, or in scheduled meetings, provides transparency. It can help your workers better understand where you are as a company. This can make them happier in the workplace. However, conflicts might arise. If you want to truly improve productivity and give your employees the confidence to be open with you as well as their coworkers, Zenbusiness.com recommends addressing issues as they happen. Sit down with all pertinent parties to determine the cause and to listen to their opposing sides. Once you have all of the information you need, you can then make a fair decision and determine the outcome of the issue.
Communication can certainly improve efficiency. But how do you ensure that your employees are adhering to your communication standards? One method is to measure efficiency, productivity, and reward each.
To do this, set measurable goals. This might be in the form of deadlines, which the Pesapal blog explains helps improve the customer experience while helping you fulfill your vision. If you’re already using a workflow program, pay attention to how often schedules are met or dates are shifted. To reward your employees who continually meet deadlines, consider offering incentives, such as paid afternoons off once each month or company-provided lunch on their deadline day.
Address potential barriers
If you have remote employees, you may have additional hurdles in the communications arena. Language and living in different time zones are two examples that come to mind here. For your language barriers, start by acknowledging differences. When your team understands and expects complications, they may be more understanding and less being upset in the moment. You might also consider hiring a translator or ensuring that important information is communicated via email and confirmed by all recipients.
Time zone issues are another area where it pays to acknowledge possible hurdles ahead of time. You can also plan to schedule meetings at a time that is least inside of everyone’s off-hours. It might also help to have a team that works domestically at the same time as any offshore workers so that you always have someone that’s available to answer questions.
Ultimately, the way that you communicate within your organization defines and directs access. Make communication part of your culture, address any potential barriers, and reward outstanding behavior. You may find that in doing so, there’s much less guesswork and more productivity.
For more great articles on business, public relations, communication, and more, visit the Magazine of the Chief Communication Officers online.