Effective communication means everyone on your team is in sync with the organisation’s culture and goals
When running a startup, internal communication is one of the key areas that you will want to focus on. This is essential for ensuring that everything runs smoothly, that projects are completed on time, and that different departments work together well. It will help to create a work environment that everyone enjoys and facilitate better solutions. Here are seven ways to get better at that internal communication:
1. Educate your employees
Step one always has to be education. If you don’t talk to them about email etiquette or how to act in meetings, you can’t always expect that they will know it off the top of their heads. Ensure that everyone is starting from the same position by investing in education and including this information in your employee orientation program.
2. Hire carefully
You can choose employees who are already great at internal communication by asking them some choice questions during their interview. Make sure that your employees are personable, easy to talk to, and fit your company culture. A start-up needs people as much as it needs skills to drive it forwards.
3. Run workshops and seminars
Your employees can learn on the job all the better when they have examples to work from. Running a day’s workshop or seminar can give them the chance to roleplay, to assess realistic situations, and to figure out the way forward. Bring in an expert instead of trying to run it yourself as this will guarantee better results.
4. Encourage conversation
Make it clear to your employees that if they feel there is a problem with communication, they should come to you about it. It’s not about getting someone in trouble, but about solving the issues so that the whole team can move forward smoothly. When you have someone who is struggling, enforce the education more and help them to get the idea better. Make it clear that this is essential to their part in the company, but don’t be threatening – a stressed employee rarely communicates well.
5. Be open
If you have a closed door to your office and you don’t speak to anyone during the day, no wonder your employees are struggling with communication. Be as open and available as you would like them to be. Of course you have important work to do, but you need to lead by example. Not only that, but you need to be available when issues arise that need urgent communication – speed is of the essence in this field.
6. Using messaging systems
If everyone is working hard at their desks, getting up to talk can be an interruption. But sending a hundred emails back and forth between various team members is tough to keep track of. Get your team started on a communication service like Slack or another free system so that everyone can keep track of the conversation. This will really help to bring everyone onto the same page and get the conversation flowing in a really useful way.
7. Create style boards
Finally, if some employees just aren’t getting it, set out standards for communication. These should include how to address one another, what kind of language to use, and even how to start and finish messages. With these templates in place, no one will have any excuses for rudeness or brusqueness. It should help to clear up communication issues internally.
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