If you look at any team effort, whether it’s a football team, a rock band, or even a marriage, there a chronically overlooked factor in whether they succeed or fail: How well do they communicate?
A team that communicates is going to have serious advantages over other teams. The net result is a more streamlined, efficient team that is resilient and adaptable in the face of challenges. This makes life easier for everyone involved and helps meet goals and objectives.
Over the years, we’ve picked up a few tips for making sure your business is a hub of effective communication:
1. Remove obstacles.
A chain of command is useful, but often it gets in the way of solutions. An employee should never be afraid to communicate with people who are not their direct supervisor. Of course, you’ll want to clarify what sorts of processes you want in place depending on the nature of their insights. (A flow chart is an excellent idea here).
With an “open door policy” you’ll be able to identify things like a supervisor who may not be living up to their role in communicating employee concerns or office politics getting out of hand. The point is communication should be encouraged rather than punished.
2. Pool your knowledge.
If an issue presents itself and it gets resolved, that solution should be written down somewhere. Make sure your documentation is accessible to everyone who needs access. It can be something as general as “what to do in case of a power outage” or as limited as a list of who to call if an alarm goes off.
Having a binder, or google doc, or something that has answers will go a long way toward making sure the entire company is on the same page, often literally.
3. Create appropriate channels.
Communication needs a medium. Thankfully, these days, there are any number of helpful apps to foster communication and collaboration.
Chat apps like WhatsApp and Slack can be helpful for employees to get to know each other and discuss company matters as well as message each other one-on-one. It allows you to create groups for managers and enable direct communication on a personal device. Slack is especially tailored for work-related communications and it scales well.
Don’t let these replace face-to-face communications altogether, though. Regular one-on-one discussions and occasional meetings also have value. When possible, it’s best to stick to the one-pizza rule: One pizza should be enough to feed all the participants. Otherwise, meetings can get off-track with too many participants.
4. Sync your calendars.
A company calendar should be standard for every enterprise, no matter how small. Tools like Outlook and Google Calendar come in handy here.
A shared company calendar makes certain everyone is on the same page with regards to events and scheduling. Using a digital, cloud-based tool also makes it mobile and instant.
5. Managerial feedback.
Regular employee reviews, whether every year or quarter, are a key part of communication. Every employee should know where they stand within the company. If improvement is needed, here’s where you can formulate a plan and set targets with deadlines. It can be awkward, but it’s well worth the cost.
Without effective communication, teams will struggle to get things done. Knowing who is in charge, clarifying quick questions, and easily escalating significant issues will save you, your team, and your customers in the long run.
Getting on the same page is key. This also applies to your inventory data. Knowing what’s in stock vs what will sell out soon will ensure your shelves are stocked. Having accurate data on your costs and lots will ensure your profits are where they need to be. Tracking your inventory value minute-by-minute will mean you have the reporting you need at the end of the year and come tax time.
That’s why Shopventory is offering a 30-day full-featured free trial of our inventory reporting and optimization tools with no credit card required. We also back Shopventory with a 30-day money back guarantee. That means a total of 60 days risk-free!
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