Best practices to improve your team communication
While there are many different considerations when it comes to running a small business, one of the most important things to stress throughout your company is effective team communication. In this day and age, email and messaging services make communication easier than ever, but if your company isn’t using these tools effectively, you’re missing out on a huge opportunity. Also, if you aren’t creating an environment that naturally fosters communication, sooner or later cracks will start to form in your business.
In this article, we will discuss some of the best ways to improve the team communication in your small business so that you can have a successful and profitable business for many years to come.
Set clear objectives
From the very start, you need to have overarching company goals that are clearly defined and understood by everyone who is employed by you. There shouldn’t be a single employee who doesn’t have a grasp on your company’s mission statement.
Underneath the umbrella of your company’s major goals, you’ll want to also set further, more specific goals and objectives that deal with projects. Everyone involved with a certain project should understand what the end goal is and all of their efforts need to be directed toward that goal. These objectives can be easily reinforced through the use of regular email messaging or brief daily and weekly meetings to make sure everyone understands the state of the project at hand.
Use simple, intuitive communication tools
In your small business, you’ll want to implement tools that can be easily used and understood by even the least tech-savvy individuals employed by your company. While it may seem to some that email and other messaging services require no learning curve whatsoever, those of an older generation or those individuals that didn’t grow up with said technology may struggle to reply quickly or to even find the information they need. You’ll want to ensure that you fully train your employees on how to use your communication tools so that they don’t feel overwhelmed when trying to complete their work using a system they don’t fully understand.
Small businesses may find it very difficult to afford team communication tools like Slack and Microsoft Teams because they are expensive to own. In addition, the small businesses will have to pay for all the integrations. If everybody in the team is not tech savvy, they will need dedicated resources to help with all the integrations. In addition, their employees will also have to go through training to make use of all the features. Clariti is free and easy to use and it doesn’t require any training.
Small businesses may find it extremely convenient to own and use Clariti. Clariti combines all your communication including email, chat, calls, documents on cloud storage, and to-do in one app and links all related information in a TopicFolder. For every context, a new thread is created and all the relevant information is linked and stored automatically. TopicFolder not only makes communication faster, it also eliminates the need to search for any information and the stress that comes with it.
Clariti is ideal for small and medium businesses to boost team collaboration and drive productivity. It is securely hosted on Amazon Web Services, providing total reliability, 100% uptime, and trusted security of all your workday data. Clariti a free cloud-based tool that can be accessed from anywhere with a browser and internet connection.
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Encourage communication in all directions
Strict top-down communication is a way of the past. Of course, communication from managers and team leaders to those working underneath them is certainly vital to a successful company. However, the importance of creating an environment that allows employees to feel comfortable communicating with both management and their coworkers cannot be understated.
There needs to be an easy way for employees to bring issues and concerns to management without fear of punishment or retribution. This can be accomplished through anonymous means such as a suggestion box and/or through an email or messaging channel that make airing these concerns stress-free.
Additionally, this communication need not exclusively deal with employee concerns or complaints. Team communication channels within a small business should allow for an easy way to applaud employees, coworkers, and managers on a job well-done. When team communication is important to a small business, a naturally pleasant atmosphere tends to develop within the company.
Respect employees’ time
It can be tempting to send out an idea through email or another messaging service as soon as it comes to you. However, you want to be respectful of your employees’ time. If possible, designating times when you will relay important information will make for an easy and widely-understood process throughout your small business. If your employees are constantly receiving notifications from you even in their off-hours, they may quickly become burned out, less productive, and less happy at work.
We are in an era of communication overload. We get messages from subscription services, businesses trying to sell us things, newsletters, and countless other sources. There is no doubt that it is critical to get messages out quickly and efficiently, but it should be understood that most of your employees don’t want to have to do extra work when they are not on the clock. They have families, hobbies, and other things that require their attention while away from work and when you respect this boundary, your employees will work harder for you while at the office.
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Build team spirit
Productivity and hard work are incredibly important to the success of a small business. But your business wouldn’t exist if it wasn’t for the labor of your employees. Therefore, you need to ensure that you take steps to show them that they are appreciated as a regular part of your team communication. This can be accomplished in a number of ways. A few common examples of team building activities and policies include:
Instituting “Casual Fridays”. A seemingly small gesture like allowing employees to wear more casual clothing on Fridays will go a long way toward building team morale.
Taking your Team Out for Dinner. While it can be a bit of an expense, setting aside some funds to be used for company outings will strengthen the bonds between you and your employees. You’ll all have the opportunity to talk outside of work and get to know each other, which can translate to improved team communication in the office as well. The increased productivity and loyalty that will develop from this gesture is worth the expense.
Sending Out a Funny Email on Monday Mornings. While you’ll want to be careful with the content of anything meant to entertain; a funny, light-hearted email that employees can look forward to when starting the week can be an excellent way to build communication. Your team can respond to it and discuss it as they begin to get into the rhythm of the work week.
Your employees understand that work isn’t going to be all fun and games. But this doesn’t mean that you can’t create a happy atmosphere for these individuals. They will appreciate your efforts and your team communication will improve, leading to a better, more profitable company in the long run.