Communication is one of the cornerstones of a successful business.
But communication can swiftly get out of control, leading to lost time, lost messages, and a lot of frustration. If you want your business to be at its best, it’s vital that you reclaim control of your business communications.
So how can you go about doing just that?
Why Reclaiming Control Matters
A lack of clear communications in your business can lead to a lot of stress for team members. It can also lead to lost information, messages that go astray, or issues that don’t get resolved.
For example, you may find your email box filling up with messages, and before you know it you’ve lost a valuable hour of your time dealing with them. Some messages could be overlooked, or read when it’s too late to act upon them, causing stress all round.
The problem goes beyond email.
From playing telephone tag to a team member finding they can’t both log in to a software suite when they need to collaborate, unclear communication is a great time waster that stops your business running smoothly.
Reclaiming control of your business communications will free up a lot of time and help to ensure that important information reaches the right person and is acted on in a timely fashion.
Be Clear on Communication
The best way to start taking back control of your business communications is to get clear on the best communication channels for each kind of message, and make sure that everyone involved is familiar with best practice and what is expected of them.
As the article “Reclaim Control of Your Business Communications” points out, channels such as email have their uses, but also have their limitations.
When using email as a medium, it’s a good idea to keep communications short and to the point, and to include an actionable point in each email so the recipient knows exactly what is being asked of them.
Teach your team best practice, such as setting aside regular time for emails rather than getting interrupted each time a new message comes in.
These principles don’t just apply to email: For each type of communication that is commonly used by your business, such as memos or social media, make sure employees know what kind of messages are appropriate for that medium, and when and how it should be used.
Start with Streamlining
The key to taking back control of your business communications is to streamline the way communication is handled within your organization.
One way of doing this is to make use of task management systems that make it clear which actions should be taken, by whom and in what order. Then, instead of merely reading a message, the recipient can check off what they have or have not done.
You might also consider using consolidated software suites, where messaging, document storage and tasks are centrally managed, to save fragmentation and confusion.
It’s also a good idea to help your team get clear on which message medium to use for different messages, who the contact person should be, and when functions such as “cc” or “reply all” are a hindrance rather than a help.
The aim of regaining control of your business communications should be to tidy up your lines of communication.
Only necessary messages should be sent, and when received should be acted on in a timely fashion.
Streamline your communications as far as possible and encourage your team to manage their communication tasks so they don’t eat into their day.
That way, communications will work to enhance your business instead of causing stress.
About the Author: Tristan Anwyn writes on a wide variety of topics, including branding, inbound marketing, business communications and social media.