Editor’s Note: Here at Dispatches, we are always looking for ways to help our readers do things. For some of our readers, that means helping navigate the working world, for others, it means assisting in the ever challenging question,“what’s for dinner?” For still others, it means figuring out how to balance family life with everything else. In an effort to aid in all of these endeavors, we have collaborated on this article written specifically for our readers.
Communication is an important part of a business. Solopreneurs often have to communicate with vendors and other partners. Larger businesses have employees in addition to the vendors and partners. The following five tips can help make sure you’re effectively communicating and ultimately motivating and engaging those who can help your business succeed.
- Have a network All employees should be connected. Everyone needs a system they can use to quickly transmit files and information to one another and if necessary a more secure way than just AirDrop. If you’re not using your own network, you often have to rely on forms of communication that are harder to track. You don’t necessarily have to employ IT professionals to look after your network, either. Outsourcing to managed IT services can be a lot more cost and time effective.
- Manage your workflow If everyone’s connected, then it’s a lot easier to see how exactly they’re doing. Whether they’re helping the workflow along nicely or causing a roadblock. You can make it easier to really measure the workflow of the office with the right tools, such as workflow management software. With this kind of software, everyone can upload tasks that need to be fulfilled and provide real-time updates as to how they’re getting progressing. This may also help give you insight into any issues obstructing productivity.
- Have more productive team meetings You want your employees to better understand and contribute to the running of the office. The team meeting has long been a staple part of that. However, most team meetings are awful. They consist of hour-long lectures with few people contributing. So change it up. Instead of long weekly meetings, have a short morning meeting. Give everyone the chance to have a turn at addressing the group. Limit individual speaking time and, if you can, walk as you talk. It gives a sense of urgency to the meeting that makes people communicate more concisely.
- Create common measurements of success Even with team meetings, it can be difficult for team members of different levels to understand how one’s work applies to the other. You might not understand how one employee’s work affects the overall workflow. So create indicators that make their work quantifiable. That way, everyone has a shared measurement by which to define a successful day’s work.
- Share your goals At the same time that you want to be able to understand every employee’s contribution to success, they want to know what the large-scale success looks like for the organization. So you have to do more to share your goals. Say what you need and why you need it. Let them understand how their work applies to the goal of the business at large. Value their contributions and get them on your side.