Small Business Internal Communications Tips for a Robust Workforce

Two Girls Working On Laptop In The Office

Communication is one of the core foundations of a healthy, successful, and thriving business.  When executed properly, robust and clear communication can boost productivity, mitigate risks, and resolve issues in the workplace. It can also promote more creativity and innovation. Plus, it encourages team members to work together to devise actionable solutions to pressing organizational challenges.

However, when internal communications are executed inefficiently, they can lead to losses in revenue. They risk stirring up ongoing conflicts between employees. Plus they may create a work environment that ranges from dysfunctional to hostile in nature.

The Importance of Good Internal Communications

Generally, good internal communication is all about getting the word out to everyone within an organization. The responsibility of streamlining communications usually falls to the HR and PR departments. But it should be facilitated by all departments and teams for best results.

small business internal communications

Internal communications are essential to any organization. They connect employees with the information and resources they need to keep the business operating transparently. Employees who cannot source the information they need due to inefficient small business communications may become disengaged. Their productivity may suffer as a result.

Positive communication benefits all organizations. It aligns, engages, and connects every member of the organization towards a single, common goal that benefits all parties involved. It also encourages employees to make informed decisions that align with the mission and objectives of their company.

How Internal Communications Build Company Culture

Small business internal communications bridges gaps between employees and leaders. It helps the entire workplace community thrive and reach collective goals with ease. Communication showcases and spreads shared company values and missions. It can provide workers with insights into exactly what is happening within their organizations. Plus they get to understand how their roles fit into the bigger picture.

Employees who are overall satisfied with their workplace’s culture and communication styles tend to be more motivated. They are more efficient and cooperative, especially when working as part of a team. This effect can help build a positive and healthy company culture over time. This in turn makes it easier for an organization to recruit and retain new talent, too.

Here are 7 proven ways to improve and streamline your small business internal communications. Read on and learn how they can strengthen and support your workforce in the long run:

1. Promote Active Listening

First, one of the best (and simplest) internal communications tools your team can employ is active listening. Clear communication begins with listening, and this is not an easy skill to master. Especially in work environments in which discussions usually take place between superiors and subordinates.

Regardless of a team member’s role or position in an organization, everyone should practice the art of active listening to improve internal communications. Active listeners can concentrate on what is said to them. They comprehend the details of a topic, respond appropriately, and remember the information that was communicated accurately.

small business internal communications

Your team members can improve their listening skills in many ways. For example, they can put their phones away, log off their computers, and take conversations into quiet spaces. Removing distractions makes it easier to concentrate on what is being said. And be sure to remember the details once the discussion is over.

You can further improve your small business communications by diligently taking notes during meetings and conversations. These simple steps can turn a whole team into active listeners that display excellent internal communications skills. The team is then better equipped to communicate clearly with one another.

2. Provide Easy Access to Important Information

Next, every organization has a specific set of documents and information that is essential to how it operates. This data may include:

  • Employee benefits plans and protocol documents
  • Operational processes and workflows
  • Tutorials and training guides
  • Branding and style documents
  • Marketing templates and information
  • Mission statements and vision plans
  • Business plans, financial data 
  • Any other information that employees and teams need to access for the good of the business

All of this data plays a crucial role in how employees interact. So, it’s essential to make sure that it is easily accessible whenever people need it. You can use cloud storage, an online Wiki, or another method that allows staff to instantly access this information.

Making important information readily available to your staff will help to develop sustainable and clear internal communications resources. This ensures employees stay informed at all times.

3. Use Technology to Integrate Small Business Communications

Back in the 1990s, businesses had extremely limited methods by which to communicate across their organizations. Modern technology allows managers and teams to use a huge range of internal communications tools to keep everyone informed.

Advancements in mobile technology have presently supercharged communication in the workplace. Today’s businesses can no longer ignore the benefits of using mobile technology and other popular remote communication and collaboration tools. Platforms like Slack, Zoom, Trello, and Skype make it easy to communicate with clients and employees alike. 

small business internal communications

According to Slack, using their mobile app reduces emails by 32% and meetings by 27%. The team chat app's success is evident in the sheer number of companies using it to better communicate online. Today, Slack has 12 million daily active users and 156,000 organizations subscribe to the app. So far, a staggering 65 million messages are sent across the platform at peak times.

Using these services can significantly improve your internal communications. They can make it easy and instantaneous for employees and teams to communicate with one another and even with customers. Additionally, these technologies may enable your staff to work remotely. This can reduce your business’s overhead and office expenses while maintaining a consistently high level of productivity.

4. Opt for a Custom Internal Communications Platform

In addition to the modern remote communication tools mentioned above, your organization could benefit from having a dedicated virtual workspace. This can help your team host small business communications.

There are dozens of reliable, cost-effective apps and platforms that enable companies and their teams to communicate with one another. To collaborate on group projects online, and even share files and documents. Slack is a great example. But there are many others that can facilitate video and voice calls, video conferences, and more. These enable employees to message each other in real-time. In addition, they can set up group chats and channels for collaboration, and even take notes while they communicate.

If you use social media frequently, your digital marketing and customer support teams should consider a tool like Facebook Workplace. Here, they can communicate and share documents in a streamlined and efficient way.

5. Find Reliable Sources of Feedback

Obviously, communication doesn’t end after a conversation is over. Effective internal communications rely on feedback and follow-up reactions to complete the small business communications loop and promote active change.

To succeed in your communications strategy, it needs to determine a process through which to collect and disseminate feedback in an efficient way. Feedback needs to be flexible. Not only one-way or flowing only from superior to subordinate. According to a 2018 Salesforce survey,  employees who feel that they have an organizational voice are 4.6 times more likely to be empowered to put forward their best work.

small business internal communications

You can ensure that feedback is provided in both directions by using internal communications tools like Small Improvements and Officevibe. Tools like these can be used to:

  • Create scheduled surveys for employees
  • Collect answers to personal and corporate questions
  • Compile employee reviews
  • Track milestones
  • Measure individual and organizational growth in real-time

Your internal communications tools and strategies need to include every individual in your company. In business, diversity has become a major talking point, and every staff member may have different challenges, needs, and preferences. It’s up to your organization’s leadership to assess your target audiences and foster a spirit of inclusivity and respect. Determine the key messages you wish to send, the right way to communicate them, and the best channels through which to send them.

6. Prioritize Inclusiveness

You can use a variety of media to send organizational messages to your teams, including:

  • Emails and newsletters
  • Printed media like posters and pamphlets
  • Videos
  • Podcasts
  • Wiki pages and instructional guides
  • Social media posts

You need to ensure that your communications are even more inclusive. You can do this by making them accessible to those with auditory, visual, or cognitive special needs. If your business operates in multiple countries or jurisdictions, you may need to translate your company correspondences into different languages. This will ensure that all of your employees can read and understand them with ease.

Inclusiveness also pertains to keeping your staff updated with what is happening in your business at any given time. Your employees have a vested interest in how things are going. They appreciate knowing whether or not their work is contributing positively to progress and growth. Keep an ongoing dialogue in place with them. Let them know how their efforts are aiding the expansion of your operation. This will motivate them to continue working at a similar pace.

7. Make Room for Casual Conversations Too

Casual conversations may not seem like a corporate priority. But they are actually just as important as formal interactions between members of a business. Many excellent plans, strategies, and initiatives have been brewed up during conversations around the water cooler at a lunch break. Instead of trying to suppress informal chats between coworkers, find ways to encourage them in a constructive and appropriate way. 

Informal communication assists in building a sense of collaboration, connection, and camaraderie between members of your staff. It encourages them to see issues from different points of view. And to work together to devise innovative solutions to these issues. Casual conversations can improve morale. Additionally, it can contribute constructively to the sharing of ideas and innovation of new solutions within your business.

Measuring the Success of Your Communications Strategies

No communications strategy is optimal without a clear measurement of its success. Ideally, the metrics you use to do this should tie in with your overall goals and objectives. 

Certainly, you should use analytics and tracking tools to assess what parts of your strategy are working. In addition, you should check which aspects need further improvement or change. 

Furthermore, some clear indicators of success may include:

  • Improved employee retention rates
  • Increased engagement scores on yearly staff surveys
  • Improved staff reviews and scores on platforms like LinkedIn and GlassDoor
  • Positive survey results and snap polls
  • Encouraging feedback forms from certain events

Use this data to actively adjust your internal communications as your business grows. Look for new ways to incorporate review methods, like individual staff reviews. Adjust your small business communications strategies according to your workers’ changing feedback.

The Bottom Line

In any case, it’s important to remember that communication is about much more than just transferring information between parties. It is likewise a powerful tool that can boost employee morale, increase workplace satisfaction and productivity. Moreover, it can further your organization’s long-term goals. 

Small businesses, in particular, should regularly analyze their internal communications and strategies to optimize their messaging channels and reinforce favorable communication skills within their teams. As a result, this helps to develop a culture of openness that encourages feedback across all channels.

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