Small Business Internal Communications Tips for a Robust Workforce

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 and can create a work environment that ranges from dysfunctional to hostile in nature.

The Importance of Good Internal Communications

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.

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 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, providing workers with insights into exactly what is happening within their organizations and how their roles fit into the bigger picture.

Employees who are satisfied with their workplace’s culture and communication styles tend to be more motivated, 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 communications in a way that strengthens and supports your workforce in the long run:

1. Promote Active Listening

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, comprehend the details of a topic, respond appropriately, and remember the information that was communicated accurately.

Your team members can improve their listening skills by putting away their phones, logging off their computers, and taking conversations into quiet spaces during important discussions. 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

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 through cloud storage, an online Wiki, or another method that allows staff to instantly access this information whenever they need it.

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 up to speed.

Advancements in mobile technology have also 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. 

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

Using these services can significantly improve your internal communications, making 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

Over and above the modern remote communication tools mentioned above, your organization could benefit from having a dedicated virtual workspace in which your team can host small business communications.

There are dozens of reliable and 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, set up group chats and channels for collaboration, and even take notes while they communicate.

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

5. Find Reliable Sources of Feedback

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.

If your business is to succeed in its internal 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.

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 can ensure that your communications are even more inclusive by making them accessible to those with auditory, visual, or cognitive special needs. If your b

Author:

@Mark Rosario

Date:

10-06-2021

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