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Communication within your staff is one of the most critical investments you can make in your business. Building the infrastructure for internal communication takes time and can be challenging when there are multiple members of a team to bring together, conflicting schedules, and opposing ideas or methods to contend with. While managing these many factors can be especially challenging, neglecting proper communication will likely lead to lots of frustration within your team.

Small businesses benefit will benefit directly from result of creating strong internal communication channels. Content staff are more likely to stay longer and offer a quality performance while on the job. Staff members who feel gratified with organizational communication are also more likely to be satisfied with their job (Reynolds, 2022).

Scheduling consistent communication time with your team will encourage the flow of information. As the team becomes familiar with a clear schedule in which they can connect with their coworkers and leadership, they will learn more about each other and gain insight on how to communicate better. This is crucial to reducing conflict and addressing feelings of tension or isolation.

As you get started with the analysis of your internal communication, consider the following channels and topics to help you begin:

  • Make a list of the topics that keep surfacing within your team. Think about the mistakes that continue to happen. These topics are begging for consistent attention so make the time to give the attention needed in a regularly scheduled communication session. BE sure to also consider the mode in which you are communicating. Have you always discussed these issues over instant messaging? Then maybe try a video call or an in-person meeting.
  • You can also make a list of your recent wins and use some regularly scheduled communication time to highlight successes. Scheduled time does not always need to be about addressing issues as it can be incredibly encouraging for your staff to make time to discuss successes together.
  • Engaging your team in a weekly meeting may not be possible so if schedules are conflicting and meetings are cost prohibitive, consider making an informational video to update your team on upcoming changes and important reminders. Another alternative is to create a group message in which updates can be shared with everyone.
  • Scheduling time to spend with each staff member is a great way to model and teach. Cross scheduling is provides overlap between employees, allowing time for relationships and collaboration. Offering overlap of 15-30 minutes allows staff to communicate with one another and provide helpful tips and insights into issues that arise during shifts.

Communication sessions should follow a consistent meeting formula to prepare the meeting space for open communication. Using a script such as, “Tell me one aspect of your work that is fulfilling and one area where you require more support.” This format directs management’s attention straight to the high need areas and provides an opportunity to pair team members based on their confidence and requests.

If you find that your business is struggling with establishing clear communication channels, your Wyoming SBDC Network advisor is a valuable resource for helping identify areas where communication is missing or failing to meet team needs. Brainstorming with an experienced advisor will provide you with the insight required to remediate information gaps.

About The Author: Devan is an entrepreneur and teacher. Devan launched her consulting career in the public-school system, specifically Special Education. For the past 10 years she operated her own small business, providing consultation and enrichment to families and early educators. Her work with the SBDC began in April 2021, advising small business startups through the first important steps of their journey. Outside of work, Devan loves camping and attending her children’s many sporting events. She enjoys a strong cup of coffee to start the day and a thick steak to celebrate a successful week.

For free and confidential business advising, we encourage you to contact a Wyoming SBDC Advisor: Contact – Wyoming Small Business Development Center Network (wyomingsbdc.org).

Reynolds, S. (2022). Organizational Communication in Community Colleges: Staff Members’ Perspectives (Order No. 29155347). Available from ProQuest Dissertations & Theses Global. (2689290906). https://wsl.idm.oclc.org/login  Small Business Chronicles. (2021, March 30). Diagonal communication & communication barriers in the business organization. Chron. https://smallbusiness.chron.com/diagonalcommunication-communication-barriers-business-organization-20523.html

 

 

Reynolds, S. (2022). Organizational Communication in Community Colleges: Staff Members’ Perspectives (Order No. 29155347). Available from ProQuest Dissertations & Theses Global. (2689290906). https://wsl.idm.oclc.org/login         Small Business Chronicles. (2021, March 30). Diagonal communication & communication barriers in the business organization. Chron. https://smallbusiness.chron.com/diagonalcommunication-communication-barriers-business-organization-20523.html

 

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