Small business owners have too much on their plate. Finances, logistics, operations occupy most of their time throughout the day. It is no wonder they overlook some vital features their business needs to succeed. One such feature is staff communication. Most entrepreneurs don’t realize how important this aspect is for the business. If there is a glue that holds any business together, that is definitely effective communication among employees. As a small business owner, you need all the help you can get to build up your company. Here are some tips to help you establish effective internal communication.
Exploit Communicative Technology
There is no aspect of our life technology that hasn’t penetrated. Since it has become a vital part of our life, we might as well take full advantage. With that being said, the first step towards good internal communications is investing heavily in tools and gadgets. Most companies use emails as the primary communication channel. However, to boost productivity and facilitate communication, you should make use of other tools as well. Consult your staff and combine two or three tools for different purposes. For example, you can use Skype or Zoom for video conferences, and Google Hangouts for updates. Combining various tools allows employees to work both from the office and their homes, if necessary. This way, your employees are well prepared in case of a crisis like the COVID-19 pandemic.
Keep it Brief, Simple, and Concise
In the business world, time is money. There is no need to waste time on long and detailed emails and updates. Your employees don’t have time during a busy day to read them. Also, they simply can’t spend hours deciphering your messages and searching the relevant bits. It not only lowers their productivity but also causes frustration and anxiety. Be brief, simple, and concise instead. Give them the right amount of information they need to do their job right. Make the message clear enough to avoid any misunderstandings. The same goes for deadlines and expectations. Be direct and provide details such as date and time. Share your expectations with your employees. It is the only way to make sure they finish projects on time.
Be Willing to Listen
While speaking is important, so is listening. Without these two elements, no communication is efficient. If you only perform one role, without the other, then you aren’t communicating. You are either giving or receiving orders. Become an active listener and encourage your staff to do the same. Give your undivided attention to your speaker and respond timely. Needless to say, checking your phone or staring at the floor during the conversation is downright rude and unprofessional. Make sure you both transfer and receive the message clearly. Once you apply these tricks during your next conversation, you will be amazed at how many insights you gain.
Make the Most Out of The Meetings
Business meetings not only drain your energy but also your time. Fruitless and inconclusive meetings with stakeholders and vendors get you nowhere. Use your strong communication and organization skills and take matters into your hands. To be successful, meetings have to be organized well. For this reason, make sure all participants know the time, location, and agenda of the meeting. Ask someone to take notes during the meeting and send the recap to everyone present. Leave a few minutes before or after the meeting for small talk. It helps ease into more complex matters or relax after the discussion. This way, the meetings will become more productive and no time will be wasted.
If you want to improve communication in the workplace, there is one thing you mustn’t forget. That is to give and receive feedback. Collecting feedback and acting on it is the only way to make improvements around the office. For this reason, come up with a system that will collect comments, suggestions, and ideas from your employees. Then use the information collected to implement policies and introduce necessary changes that will help your business grow. Don’t forget to give your employees feedback regarding their work performance. Be honest and transparent and encourage your employees to do the same. As a result, you will have healthy communication with your employees.
Since you are the employer, it is common for employees to ask you for help. In this case, it is of utmost importance for you to be approachable and responsive. When they send you an email, make sure to answer promptly. If you haven’t already, implement an open-door policy. This means your employees can knock on your door whenever they have a problem or simply want to talk to you. You sparing some time to address their concerns makes them feel valued and appreciated. When you are responsive and caring, they feel like an indispensable part of the company.