Are You Using Your Small Business Communication Advantage?

It is amazing how many small businesses do not take advantage of having a small staff in one office. If they don’t communicate regularly with their employees, small businesses will have the same problems with misunderstandings and miscommunication as large, multi-national corporations do.

Effective communication is important in all areas of business, but there are two cases where it is crucial to the success of your business.

Crucial Communication #1: Between the Small Business Owner and their employees.

While the importance of communication with employees might seem obvious to you, all too often a small business will not have the basic processes in place to ensure good communication. Here are 3 simple actions steps that will create optimal communication and more productive and engaged employees:

• Hold a monthly meeting with all personnel

• Hold a weekly group meeting with all department heads

• Hold a weekly individual meeting with each department head

If you put everyone under the same roof, in the same room, once a month, you have the perfect opportunity to communicate what’s happening with the business and give your team a sense that they are part of the big picture. You can also find out what problems are coming up for your employees. You may not be able to solve the problems on the spot, but you will get information that you might not have received otherwise, and you are demonstrating to your staff that you care about them and the issues they are encountering. It is extremely important, however, that once you hear about an issue, you follow up and continue to communicate with the staff about it.

Crucial Communication #2: Between employees and their immediate supervisors.

Very often, employers wait for an annual review to let their staff know how they’re doing. By this time, problems and miscommunications may have escalated. Or the supervisors only communicate with their employees when there’s a problem, fostering negative feelings. It is much more effective for each manager or supervisor to schedule a monthly, one hour meeting with each person who reports to them.

During this formal meeting, the supervisor will address four areas:

1. What is working well.

2. What is not working and needs to change.

3. Three to five improvement oriented goals for the employee to achieve by the next meeting.

4. How the employee is doing personally.

Record notes from the meeting in an excel spreadsheet to track progress.

Take the steps outlined above, create a routine of regular communication with your employees, and you will receive a wealth of information, and create a positive, productive work environment for your team!

Written by:

Rodrigo Laddaga

4 replies
    • Rodrigo Laddaga
      Rodrigo Laddaga says:

      Great point Mike! and the answer is absolutely yes! you always have to have an open agenda close door policy. Let me explain this, first it is very important that any employee have clear that if they are not having the “right” response for his/her boss, the can go directly to the business owner, especially in small business this is something that has to be encourage with employees, so the business owner will always will have “ears and eyes” all over the company. However, in order to be productive, here is when the open door close policy works perfect, and is very simple but powerful, the business owner have to schedule two times a day, it could be 30 mins. or 1 hrs. for “open hours” for anybody in the company that wants to talk about any issue in the company. This will prevent constant interruptions to the owner trough the day and the productivity of the business owner and also the rest of the employees will increase dramatically.

  1. Dr. Sabrina
    Dr. Sabrina says:

    Yes, Rodrigo, getting communication flowing when you’re small is critical. Get it right now and growth will go more smoothly.

    One of my clients does a quick “Morning Huddle” with key team members each day.

  2. Robb Braun
    Robb Braun says:

    This is awesome, Rodrigo! In the past, when I did not have a system like this in place, my team did not hear from me as often as they liked. They felt left out and unimportant. And it wasn’t because I did not care, but that I was moving at a fast pace, making things happen in my business and simply not taking the time – and there were consequences. The system you described ensures that those very necessary communications happen.

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