Communication is key within business. We all know this – but it doesn’t stop mistakes from being made.
Tasks can go ahead unauthorized, employees can fail to do jobs thinking they weren’t assigned to these roles and wires can get crossed leading to embarrassing situations with clients.
You can’t monitor your staff like a hawk, because other admin tasks need to be done and let’s face it, no-one wants a dictator for a boss. Going about the situation in a calm and organised manner can quickly amend it, as the methods below show.
#1 Get to Know Your Employees
Your staff will only feel comfortable communicating with you if they feel you’re approachable.
You don’t need to befriend your employees, but you should make some effort to get to know them on a personal level. Don’t hide yourself in your office and groan every time someone disturbs you.
Designate times when you don’t want to be disturbed and encourage an open door policy the rest of the time. Even telling employees ‘good morning’ when they enter the office and ‘goodbye and thank you’ when they leave can make a huge difference.
Of course, you may already be a friendly and approachable boss, in which case the problem may lie within organisation.
#2 Make Your Team a Part of the Planning Process
Your team should feel involved every step of the way.
If you’re simply designating tasks, they may start to feel antagonism towards your authority. When making decisions that affect your staff, get your team involved so that they can give insights and suggest corrections that you may have overlooked.
Getting them involved in planning may also help them to understand projects more clearly, instead of simply loading into onto them to research themselves.
#3 Put it in Writing
Ensure that project details are put in writing so that everyone can follow clearly.
This will help both you and your employees. Everyone can get hazy when it comes to complex details and having a plan in writing somewhere that everyone can easily access could help prevent errors and save time having to ask others who are preoccupied.
#4 Map Out Your Team
When handing out roles, create a team map that can be easily shared amongst everyone, so that everyone knows what each other is doing.
This should prevent employees neglecting jobs, prevent multiple employees both doing the same job and notify everyone as to who to approach with specific queriatinges rel to specific tasks.
There are hierarchy tools that can allow you to create a colorful visual representation. This can be printed off and stuck around the office or shared in folder that everyone can access.
Realize that you may have to make a few tweaks to this map along the way to cater for people that are struggling with specific tasks or to re-balance the workload if certain people have more to do than others.
#5Hold Regular Meetings
Meetings are a great way to communicate progress. You should hold a team meeting once a week, ideally on a Monday morning as a way of preparing the week ahead.
Give everyone a chance to interact – don’t simply dictate what you want to be done and then send everyone off on their way as this won’t achieve anything.
Spare some time at the end of the meeting to talk to people individually if you or they have concerns.
You can hold meetings every day if you want, but it is possible to hold so many meetings that you limit work getting done so consider this.
For remote employees, options include video conferencing or sending out mass emails that require a response.
#6 Digitally Track Progress
If everyone is working on computers, you may be able to use maintenance tracking software to keep abreast of how far projects are coming along.
Such software can also help to identify problems more quickly and get them more easily solved. Employees can have access to this data so that they know what stage everyone else is up to.
Specific trades may have more suited specific software. If your company has the money, you could even design your own program or app to manage progress.
Having such software could limit the need for constant meetings – although it’s probably still advisable to have some form of assembly away from the computer screens.
#7 Share Digital Diaries
Most computers and smartphones now have diaries and calendars in-built into them. This saves having to carry a bulky paper diary around everywhere, or having to pin a calendar up in a certain part of the office.
However there are new programs and apps that can allow you to share and edit one another’s schedules. This could have many beneficial uses for your team – especially if your employees are often working remotely and you aren’t able to ask them in person.
You can check someone else’s diary to see if they’re in a meeting before making a call, or you can find the best time to organize a work event around your employees schedules – saving the time and hassle of having to then change it afterwards due to a clash.
#8 Employ Reliable Assistant Management
For businesses operating 24/7, having reliable assistant management to take over is a must.
They need to be able to convey information back to you and run things smoothly in an emergency without you have to constantly check up on them to see if they’re doing OK.
You can hire internally or interview outside candidates, but it may be worth monitoring them during a few test shifts first for the latter.
Your assistant managers need to abide by all the previously listed methods and should serve as an extension of you. Finding reliable assistant management can be tricky but you should always go with your gut.
If you feel like you may clash with someone else’s authority, you should probably avoid hiring them regardless of their experience as they may withhold mistakes from you or create unnecessary conflict.
Keeping your team on the same page in your business can be a bit overwhelming at times. I know this first hand because I deal with it on a regular basis and one thing we like to do is have regular stand-up meetings right at the beginning of the day just get on track with where things are.
So what do you do to keep your team and business on the same page? I would love to hear your thoughts on this below.