Better Communication for Better Business
Every business operates in it's own different way and have their own methods of communication. Ensuring these work for your business is important and can be the difference between being successful or falling down along the journey of running your business.
One thing that's important, is to ensure that the communication within the business empowers your employees - including management. Communicating the various changes in business activity, business processes and how they would work towards goals (and even what those goals are), will give the employees and business a push in the right direction.
Encourage Leaders, not Followers
To help manage your business effectively you need to have the right management team in place. However, it's suggested that some managers are uncomfortable with the idea of carrying out certain tasks, such as giving direct feedback to other employees.
The key to ensure your managers are an asset to the business and will aid the growth of the company, is training. But not just giving them training, but also ensuring they receive it at the correct time. It would be far more beneficial for them to start a few days later after receiving a few days worth of training, than starting the job early without knowing what's expected of them or what they should be doing.
This may seem like common sense, but training is a vital part of the communication process that you need to ensure is covered. It's easy to lose track of how managers are performing (or not performing), which has a knock on effect to the teams they manage.
Feedback, feedback, and feedback some more
One of the key parts of communication within a business is feedback. This can come in various formats from one-to-one conversations, to reports. But identifying issues with processes or individual employees can help fix any mistakes that keep cropping up and can help better the individuals involved.
It's important to remember to be constructive with feedback too - no one likes to be told they're not doing a good job, even if that is the case. Identifying issues and suggesting how things can be improved will help the overall mood too. When people achieve something, it gives them a buzz. So if they're at the edge where they're making several mistakes, then it could make them feel a bit fed up. Pick them up with some constructive feedback and help them get back into the flow of things.
It's usually a good idea to include this as part of a regular review with staff too.
Define Roles and Responsibilities
It's tricky when a role isn't specifically defined within a company; there's nothing more annoying than doing something that someone has already done.
Ensuring that each member of staff knows what their job involves and what they need to do can help overcome this barrier. From little things like, planning for the next meeting - who should type out an agenda; who should send the invites; to even defining a role that you employ someone to fill - what do they do exactly; who is their supervisor?
It can come back round to planning. Knowing what needs to be done can help pinpoint specific tasks and goals. These tasks and goals can then be allocated to individuals and help them realise what needs to be done.
If you identify that you need someone to sell bathroom suites, then you should employ them to do just that. Should they be expected to sell kitchens too?
In a growing digital world, it's easy to delegate and email different tasks or jobs to individuals or teams, but nothing beats a face to face meeting or a phone call. Show that you are a human, and let the others in the company be humans too - don't rely on digital tools. Certainly use them to aid your planning and improve efficiency, but holding a face-to-face meeting or a conference call can help show the real you - the person behind the business.
It's likely that you'll discover younger employees want to use the digital tools more than others, so a bit of encouragement to use more traditional methods of meetings and phone calls, over job management systems and email, may be needed.
To tie it off, just remember to be you, be well prepared, and help others - whether that's feedback, pointing them in the right direction with their role, or arranging a face to face meeting. Having regular communication through multiple mediums can certainly help, it's just about ensuring the balance is right.
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