If you’re in the process of scaling your business, then taking steps to make sure that communication within your expanding team is the best it can be is vital – according to a recent Expert Market poll, a massive 97% of those surveyed indicated that their task efficacy is impacted by communication on a daily basis.
If you’re not sure what steps to take, we can help. Use the handy guide below to get started.
1. Get the Right Tools in Place
Now your business has progressed beyond the start-up phase; you’ll need to get new tools in place to optimize communication in your growing team. To this end, consider bringing a team chat app on board that lets your employees quickly connect, whether they’re based in-office or remotely. Look for a team chat tool that’ll also enable your staff to switch seamlessly to video or audio calling to make for an even slicker workflow.
You may also want to invest in project management software, cloud-based document editing tools, and file-sharing apps to ensure you’ve got the foundation in place to support the best team communication possible.
2. Create a Meeting Schedule
While too-frequent, unfocused meetings can cause staff frustration and cause productivity to take a hit, a clear schedule of laser-focused meetings, each designed to generate actionable outcomes, can greatly improve communication.
Rather than hold a prolonged team meeting every week, consider having a ten-minute scrum meeting every morning and reducing the frequency of team meetings to once a fortnight or even once a month. You could also think about swapping out other meetings for video conferences, where possible, to prevent those working remotely from needing to come into the office just for an hour to attend an in-person meeting.
Why not deploy team chat updates, too, in place of a formal meeting? These online sessions can be a quick, effective way to get across vital information without taking up too much work time.
3. Promote a Culture of Transparency
Creating a culture of transparency is one of the best ways to optimize communication by helping to ensure that everyone is and remains clear on their roles and responsibilities and feels comfortable raising a concern or other issue.
Leading by example is an effective way of doing this, as is endorsing an open-door policy so that employees feel they can come to you if they’re unhappy about something – or, more happily, have a great idea!
Establishing a feedback loop and integrating it into your daily processes can promote transparency and help you create a culture as you scale in which your workforce feels empowered to give feedback as well as take constructive advice on board.
4. Skill-Up Your Team
Arranging for your employees to attend a communication training program could serve your growing business well. This type of training usually covers elements such as types of communication, creating effective messages, and potential barriers to communication.
Training is a useful means of helping team members to make just a few small changes necessary to uplevel, for example, their emailing or social media updating games. It’s a great idea for everyone in the organization to attend training courses, including managers, and to arrange refresher sessions on a yearly basis.
5. Create Cross-Team Projects
As your business expands, what started out as a one-person marketing department might turn into an entire marketing team, with the same happening regarding human resources, sales, and accounts.
To help create great working relationships between your new teams, consider cross-team projects that could benefit the business and help your workforce connect. What could this look like on the ground? Let’s say your customer support team wants to produce some digital ‘how to’ guides for customers – why not get your marketing team involved in creating this content? Not only will the latter’s visual design expertise be appreciated, but it’ll give the marketing folk a chance to see and hear firsthand the kind of issues that your customer care crew deals with on a daily basis- which could feed back into how marketing materials are produced.
6. Remove Information Silos
Ensuring the free flow of information should be a fundamental part of your business communication strategies. Information silos may accidentally form when one team uses a different communication channel than another, for example, or doesn’t effectively communicate priorities that affect other departments.
Being mindful of these silos is key. Make sure all the teams within your business use the same communications platforms and tools and use an overall project management tool that every staff member can access. You may wish to add quarterly goals for each department using this software so that you, and everyone else, can see the priorities of each team and track progression.
Improving Team Communication: Key Points
Get started by ensuring you and your team have the right software and tools in place, create an efficient meeting schedule, and take steps to promote a culture of transparency to get started. Consider regular training sessions to help your workforce boost their communication skills, and always keep an eye open for opportunities for different teams and departments within your business to collaborate.
Scaling up may be challenging, but optimizing communication within your business doesn’t have to be!