3 Ways to Improve Communication In Your Small Business
When we say “improve communications” you probably are expecting an article about telephone systems or which video conferencing platform works the best. Normally, you’d be right, but today we decided to briefly go over four ways that you can foster better communications between management and their employees inside of your business.
We know that good, effective communication can be tricky, but if you can set up constructive give-and-take, your business is sure to benefit from it. Let’s take a look at four ways your business can create an environment where communication actually helps your business.
Create a Collaborative Company Culture
A collaborative company culture is one where people trust others to pick them up when they need help to produce the best products and services possible. It’s true that every business relies on the efforts of their employees. Why then are there often such efforts taken to keep them out of the loop? Sure, the staff doesn't need to know everything in order to do their jobs, but in order to build the relationships necessary to create trust, being transparent about how things are going and the goals you have for the business is a solid practice.
If everyone that works toward a singular goal understands where the organization stands, they will not only be open to being helpful toward others inside the business, they are more likely to provide feedback that is a key resource to better business processes.
Listen to Learn
Business is often fast-paced and doesn’t offer a lot of time for reflection. This is why when employees talk, managers have to listen. The truth is that people aren’t adept at listening. Everyone has their own responsibilities and sometimes the thought of taking more on is impossible. For decision makers, it can be difficult to listen to superfluous information that doesn’t have anything to do with getting the job done.
Well, it’s your job to listen.
If you want to have the kind of business where communication is a major part of what you do, you better listen. Most of those superfluous gripes are not actionable, sure, but if you just don’t listen to what your staff is saying and go about dictating what needs to be done without taking any of their suggestions or comments or complaints seriously, you are going to be in for a tough time. You can’t make everyone happy, but what you can do is listen to the people you depend on if only to ascertain their perspective.
Don’t Rely on Meetings
If you are going to make an announcement to the staff, a staff meeting is the best way to do so. You can gather everyone there either in the conference room or via video conference and make announcements. If you are looking to enhance communications, however, meetings are some of the worst settings for communication between people. Firstly, people never say what they are thinking as to not rock the boat or cause arguments, so they are much more conservative in a meeting setting.
If you want more effective communications, choose settings that will keep people from putting their defenses up. That means smaller meetings or one-on-ones. You’ll get more out of many smaller chats than you ever will out of a large-scale meeting. Managers should always encourage feedback and accept it with grace, and check in on those they manage from time to time. Your managers should also expect to be checked in on by those above them too.
Solid communications can boost productivity and the morale of your entire organization. What do you think? Do you have any other tips that can help knock down barriers and create a better flow of information within your business? Leave your comments below and reach out to us at 607.433.2200 to talk with us about finding the technology to improve your business’ communications.
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