Pasadena, TX Small Business Cheat Sheet: Improving Your Company's Collaboration and Communication Among Employees
Every business is different, but one thing all businesses have in common is the need for strong communication and collaboration among employees. Good communication is essential for a variety of reasons: it helps teams work together more effectively, it makes customers feel valued, and it can even help businesses save money. The following are a few suggestions from the Pasadena Chamber of Commerce for how small businesses can improve communication and collaboration.
Collaborate Using Online Tools
In today’s connected world, there’s no excuse for not taking advantage of the many online tools available to help with communication and collaboration. Services like Slack and Google Hangouts make it easy for employees to communicate with each other no matter where they are, and there are a variety of project management tools available that can help teams track tasks and deadlines.
When your team collaborates across departments, they may find that a file converter comes in handy. This tool will automatically convert your doc to PDF, so that you can send content without worrying about if the person will be able to open it or if the formatting will shift. And it’s a simple drag and drop process, so your teams can convert and move on quickly.
Feedback is a vital part of effective communication, yet many businesses are hesitant to encourage it. Why? One reason may be fear of criticism, but feedback should be seen as an opportunity to improve rather than as a personal attack. When soliciting feedback, make sure to stress that you want honest opinions and that all feedback will be taken into consideration – even if it’s not always possible to act on every suggestion. 15Five says that you can make the process easier by asking some specific questions, like “what do you need help with?” and “When do you have the most fun at work?” These questions can open the door for more feedback and help people feel more at ease. And make your team feel heard by following-up and letting them know what you can do to act upon their advice. And don't forget to thank them!
Create and Maintain an Environment of Communication
Open communication should be encouraged at all levels of the organization, from the C-suite down to entry-level employees. A good way to foster an environment of open communication is to encourage employees to share their ideas freely, without fear of criticism or retribution. Of course, not every idea will be a winner, but a number of great ideas often come from unexpected sources. Similarly, managers should make themselves accessible to their teams and encourage employees to come to them with questions or concerns.
Give Teams Opportunities to Work Together
Cross-team collaboration can lead to better communication and understanding between departments, which can in turn lead to more productive workers and happier customers. One way to encourage cross-team collaboration is to create opportunities for employees from different departments to work together on projects or solve problems. These opportunities can be created through company-wide events or initiatives such as hackathons or team-building exercises.
Ignore the Impulse to Micromanage
Micromanagement is the enemy of good communication – when managers micromanage, they send the message that they don’t trust their employees to do their jobs properly. Enterprise League warns that this lack of trust can lead to tension and conflict within teams, which in turn will lead to poorer communication and collaboration. If you find yourself micromanaging your team, step back and ask yourself why – chances are there’s an underlying issue that needs to be addressed.
Implement Good Practices
Good communication is essential for any business – large or small – but it can be especially challenging for small businesses. By taking advantage of collaborative online tools, fostering a culture of communication and idea sharing, and creating opportunities for cross-team collaboration, small businesses can set themselves up for success.
Connect with and learn from other local business leaders by joining the Pasadena Chamber of Commerce.
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