Effective internal communication is incredibly important to any company, and any entrepreneur. But skillful communication is so much more than that: communication can mean the difference between your business succeeding or failing. Nowadays, sending regular emails and making Power Points for your important meetings is not enough.
According to the Holmes Report, companies with effective communication strategies have 47% higher returns to shareholders, more engaged employees, and less employee turnover. Conversely, among 400 corporations surveyed over a year, an estimated $37 billion was lost due to employee misunderstanding or error due to poor communication.
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If you want to lead your company to success — and scale to a degree which would enable that level of success– your communication strategies need to be updated. Here are five ways that you can level up your communication.
- Lead by example.
First-time entrepreneurs may not yet have a skill set that includes clear communication — the lynchpin to any effective leader’s arsenal. Seasoned entrepreneurs know that being the first to share, comment, give feedback, and answer questions is the best way to encourage your employees and teammates to do the same. Being a great communicator sets the stage for everyone around you, so do your best to keep an open door policy with lines of communication wide open.
- Keep your company’s mission and vision at the forefront.
You want your employees to focus their work on the goals and objectives that you have for your business. But do they know what your vision really is? Everyone needs to be able to see and understand the overarching goals of the company in order to work effectively with each other. Publish your manifesto and best practices online so all can reference easily, then watch their work soar.
- Forego unnecessary meetings and emails.
Regular meetings can be helpful, but there are many tools online that can accomplish information dissemination without having to interrupt individual workflow for a project update. And while emails can be helpful for memos, emails are quickly becoming outdated for the kinds of decision-making and collaborative solutions that are necessary in today’s virtual global company.
Enterprise social networks like Podio, ZenDesk, FreshDesk, or SalesForce Chatter, Slack, Hangout chats are absolutely necessary, and make short work of problem solving, project updates, and cross-departmental info sharing whether your employees are in the next room or in another country.
- Dismantle the hierarchy.
In business, hierarchies create communication jams, and more and more companies are doing away with them and for good reason. Team structures are more effective and more efficient. Less bottlenecked decision-making and accessible leadership encourage fluid communications leading to faster results and added adaptability. This approach may be challenging at first, but it will lead to greater ease in the long run.
- Make communication into a habit.
Establish regular communication processes that happen on a schedule: weekly conference calls, monthly online newsletters, quarterly employee reviews, etc. Habitual communication eliminates time wasted searching for information that should be forthcoming and transparent. Defined rules help everyone relax, and work on higher priority business.
Even if your company has only two people, communication skills are a vital part of any successful venture, and staying up to date with the latest communication techniques can make your company more efficient, more lucrative, and more satisfying.