According to recent research by Salesforce, 86% of those surveyed believe that poor communication is the culprit where workplace failures have occurred. This figure shows just how crucial it is to ensure that every single communication channel your business uses is working optimally.
With so many means of communication, however, figuring out ways to improve things as a whole can seem overwhelming. But taking a step-by-step approach can make the task more manageable. Use the guide below to get started today.
Identify Communication Channels
Begin by identifying all the channels of communication your business uses. List them all, even the obvious ones, such as in-person communication, emails, and letters. Your communication channels aren’t just the methods you use to disseminate information within your business but also include your website, social media, and marketing channels.
The idea is to audit all your communications channels to discover which ones are working well and which ones could do with a little tweaking. This will also allow you to think about whether bringing other collaboration tools on board, such as a team communication app, could be useful to fill the gaps, keep information flowing, and boost productivity. Identifying all your communication channels will enable you to see where there may be duplication of information, which can negatively impact your business’s efficiency drives.
Develop a Communication Strategy
Now that you’ve mapped out all the communication channels your business deploys, it’s time to make a staff member responsible for each. In a small business, this could be a single person, while in a larger enterprise, you could assign one employee to manage your social media communication stream, another to be responsible for updating the intranet, and so on.
This is an effective way to ensure that tasks relating to each channel are managed, and it also keeps the tone of your business’s communication consistent – great for both clarity and maintaining a professional aspect.
Get Your Team Behind You
When making changes, it’s vital that your employees understand not only the nature of the changes but why they’re being made. Get your team involved in coming up with ways to improve communication that will help them work more effectively. Would an intranet be useful, for example, as a way of imparting information if a staff newsletter isn’t working as well as it could be?
Staff meetings are a vital communication channel, but frequently, they’re the bane of employees’ lives! Too frequent meetings with unclear agendas typically frustrate staff, impact productivity, and generate few actionable outcomes.
As part of your communication audit, think about your current meeting schedule. It’s important to have regular team and one-to-one meetings with your staff, but for other meetings, only invite necessary employees. If there are some employees who, rather than needing to attend the whole meeting, only need to be present for part of the session or can be sent the minutes afterward, then taking this course of action is usually wise.
Utilizing a single platform for your team communication can be a great way of optimizing collaboration and preventing things from slipping through the net. Those team communications apps we mentioned earlier? They can be great tools to connect teams and departments across your whole business and even to external partners and clients.
A good team app allows staff to manage a range of communication from a single inbox, meaning that employees can send emails, make phone calls, leave voice messages, video conference, and even work collaboratively on documents in real time with colleagues.
It’s a powerful tool to ensure no time is wasted and to optimize your work processes; team communication apps can be especially useful in remote or hybrid teams, keeping staff connected no matter where they are in the world.
Tailor the Message
It’s always crucial, whatever the communication channel being deployed, to tailor the message to the intended audience. So whether you’re sending out an email to your team about an upcoming meeting, or planning your business’s social media campaign for the next six months, think about how best to ensure it gets across the information you need it to.
For example, is the communication effectively an ‘information dump,’ or do you want some form of interaction? Is a visual aid likely to help engage your audience? Is establishing the business’s credibility part of the reason for the communication?
Knowing how to address your audience effectively will help you get the tone right and deliver the message in a way that will resonate and be taken on board.
Optimizing All Your Business’s Communication Channels
Use the guide above to ensure all of your business’s communication channels are working as well as possible to boost productivity, maximize efficiency, and have a happier team! Start by auditing all the communication channels your business currently uses, and then develop a communication strategy for a consistent, clearly-managed approach.
As part of creating this strategy, bring all the team on board by ensuring everyone knows about the changes and why they’re being made so that they’re fully engaged. Consider using software to help improve things; a central channel, such as a team communication app, can be an effective way to optimize both communication and collaboration.
And finally – don’t forget the basics. Think about the intended audience of each communication when writing or otherwise creating it. Keeping this simple tenet at the front and center of your overall strategy can help uplevel all aspects of your business communications.