2 effective shifts to implement now to save you hours every day
Smooth running teams, satisfied clients and a big pipeline are the boxes we want to tick when it comes to our successful business.
Effective team communication is a big part of the secret sauce to getting there. And yet unfortunately most businesses struggle with exactly this … Why?
A company’s roots for poor communication are often easily detected. All companies start with few team members, or even just the founder, over time more people are hired, the company grows but the standards of communication don't grow with it.
With the main focus on sales and client fulfillment, communication isn’t the center of attention and thus easily overlooked.
Why we should focus on creating a better communication nonetheless?
Running a successful company is a team effort and successful teams nailed down the communication part!
Ineffective business communication costs your company time, energy and especially money. Projects or deadlines fall through the crack, leaving clients unsatisfied.
And last but not least but good communication within a team fosters loyalty among team member as well as the feeling of belonging and being part of a bigger picture. And we all know that satisfied team members will do better work, don’t we?
That’s why I have for you: two easy shifts within your business to perfect the communication game.
Shift #1: Develop your own communication standard
No matter how big or how small your company is, setting communication standards is detrimental and it is never too late to implement them.
Two main things need to be taken care of.
Develop workflows for reoccurring tasks. Make sure that those workflows aren’t just written down once but lived by, updated and reviewed for improvement regularly.
Create formal guidelines or checklists and apply them to new projects. For team members to do a satisfying job they need to know what is expected from them. So be crystal clear in communicating your expectations and make sure this lives up to a high standard across all departments and functions.
It could be as simple as answering a set of standard questions for each new project, such as: When is the deadline? What deliverables are expected and when? How does the project fit into the bigger picture? Who is on the team and who has what responsibility? Who is reviewing the project and how much does this person want to be involved?
Never forget that you as the leader are the example. You set the tone and everything starts with you. So make sure to set high communication standards for your own communication, too.
Shift #2: Develop your teams communication code
A communication code is an agreed upon situational plan of what channel of communication to chose given the urgency of a situation.
There will most likely be one preferred channel of communication within your business. For some this might be Slack, for others that’s email, for others its Skype and then again for others a combination of several different tools.
How do I as your team member communicate if I have a question? If a client comes back with a negative review? If I don’t know what to do next? If I feel incapable of making a decision? If we are burning money on a new launch?
That’s what you want a communication code for so that your team members know how and when to reach out. This will look different for every company but an example could be the following
If a task is complicated to talk through, hop on the phone, Skype or in person.
If it’s something that needs to be dealt with but not urgent create a task in Asana.
If it’s urgent but not detrimental, ping in Slack.
If something is on fire or we are losing money, call.
Why should you make this a priority?
Easy! Because it will save you hours in your day and ultimately a lot of $$$.
Team members need to understand the cost of interruption. Picking up the phone and asking a question that could have waited a couple of hours is often the easiest solution for an employee, but not for you. Small interruptions like this are time killer #1 and lead to huge inefficiencies in a work day.
Studies show that depending on how long the interruption is and how related it is to your current task at hand it can take you up to 25 minutes to get back into the swing of things of your own task after you have been interrupted.
Do the math… 25 minutes for one interruption, imagine 10 interruptions a day! A seemingly small question can thus add up to scary amounts and a lot of hours at any given day. Of course it’s important to take a break now and then but there is a big difference between an intentional break or a disruption. Breaks are focused and deliberate. Distractions are unplanned and take away from the work you are currently focused on.
Next to the communication code another simple solution is to start sharing your calendar to the team or create an hour of ‘ask me anything’ a day / every couple of days specifically for this purpose!
So, what does it take you to start taking your team communication more seriously?
Would love to help you figure out what exactly it is that you need for your team to be more effective so that yo can focus on the tasks that truly matter: leading a team, future direction of your company & keeping high standards when it comes to satisfying your clients.
Is that what you need? Awesome, let’s talk ASAP.
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