As a small business owner, you may often get mired down in the details of running a business on the operations front. After all, production, marketing, and delivering products or services contribute towards the revenue building of your venture. Oftentimes, business owners are unaware of the glue that holds their business together- Effective Staff Communication. As your business expands and you begin to hire more employees, managing communication and allocating the necessary time for meetings becomes an integral part of running your business.
Here are 5 effective staff communication strategies that will ensure your dream business reaches greater heights:
1. Ensure Important Documents and Information Are Easily Accessible
Every company comes with a unique set of information that is key to understanding its internal as well as external operations. This could include:
- Employee protocol and benefits plan
- Operational workflows and processes
- Style guides and branding documents
- Training materials and onboarding tutorials
- Marketing collateral and brand templates
- Organization mission statement and long-term goals
Making this information easily accessible improves the interaction between your business and employees. You need to ensure that this information is effectively communicated to all new hires and periodically to employees. You can make these documents easily accessible through your company intranet or by creating an online Wiki that lets employees find and access information anytime they need it.
By making such crucial information readily available, you’re developing a sustainable communication system to keep all employees well-informed.
2. Utilize Mobile Communication Technology
An estimated 67 percent of small businesses have switched to mobile applications for their business. With such a large number of adherents, small businesses, such as yours, can no longer ignore the impact of mobile devices on your ability to communicate with your employees and clients.
With remote employment becoming the norm in light of the COVID-19 pandemic, telecommuting, virtual offices, and other types of work-from-home engagements have become easier due to the advancements in communication technology. Software like Zoom meetings, Skype, and other video/audio conferencing technology has made it possible for companies to communicate with employees, even when they work outside the office.
By knowing how to leverage communication technologies, you can successfully manage employees remotely with high-performance rates.
3. Use a Dedicated Internal Communication Platform
In addition to the software mentioned above, you may also want to find a dedicated platform to house your day-to-day communication.
There are many web applications and software that help small businesses facilitate employee-to-employee communication and document sharing. Slack, Trello, Miro, etc. are some fast-growing business apps that allow employees to communicate with other individual employees and teams in real-time. You can also set up channels and group chats for internal messaging, note-taking, and other communication processes with the help of these tools.
Having a sound internal communication system can be beneficial to your business as it enables employees within the organization to easily communicate and share important information and documents in a collaborative streamlined manner.
4. Be Prompt with Your Responses
Effective communication is one of the best methods to resolve conflicts or disputes within the company. As a small business owner, one of the worst things you can do when faced with a conflict, dispute, or complaint is to ignore it. This can have a negative effect on your business. Instead, you should issue a response immediately, even if it’s just a brief statement stating that you will look into the issue at the earliest.
When people notice that you are prompt in your response and handling an employee crisis, they will not be apprehensive about reaching out to you. Addressing the concerns of your employees and clients is a powerful way to keep them engaged and happy.
5. Provide Easy and Reliable Feedback Resources
While being responsive is an important part of the internal communication of your staff, feedback is also a critical step in the communication loop for businesses.
To succeed at communicating, your business needs to find a process for collecting and imparting feedback in a fluid manner. It’s important to understand that feedback shouldn’t be one way, especially not top-down within the organization.
There are tools available to facilitate this process such as Officevibe and Small Improvements. For example, Officevibe helps create scheduled surveys for employees that ask a combination of personal and corporate-specific questions. Thus, enabling you and the management to get a pulse of the organization.
Small Improvements on the other hand is a performance feedback tool that combines employee reviews and goal-oriented objectives that can be easily accessed on one interface. This can be helpful for managers as it makes it easy for them to create and track milestones for the employees, while also giving the company a crucial resource for measuring individual and organizational growth.
As a small business owner, you need to understand that effective staff communication is more than just relaying information. It can be a powerful tool that can improve employee morale, help solve issues at the workplace, and increase productivity. All businesses, big or small, need to analyze their communication methods to optimize these channels for more than just sending and receiving messages. They can be effectively used to reinforce positive communication skills to employees and develop a culture that welcomes and encourages feedback and professional growth.