Entrepreneurs and small businesses can improve business performance and potentially save thousands of dollars by improving internal communications.
Even if your organization has hired a dream team of skilled talent, poor internal communications can erode morale – and profits. Accordingly, a growing number of executive leaders recognize that effective communications improve business outcomes.
Miscommunication costs the average small business $5,200 every year. You can avoid or minimize costly errors across your enterprise by taking steps to improve business communication.
Why good internal communication flow is essential for your business
If you think it’s smart for small business owners to miss out on over $5,000 annually solely because of poor communication, imagine the plight of large corporations that lose an average of more than $62 million every year due to the same problem. Also, midsized firms suffer an average yearly loss of $420,000 per year due to poor communication.
Nevertheless, numerous studies reveal that a considerable percentage of current and potential skilled workers possess poor communication skills. A skilled professional cannot fulfill their role if they don’t fully understand their industry as well as their responsibilities. Still, many professionals lack sufficient skills to communicate work-related concepts effectively.
Fortunately, you can do something about your company’s poor business communication. The following are five tips for doing just that.
1. Avoid “Hit-and-Run” Communications
Usually, CEOs talk, people listen and that’s the end of corporate communication. Don’t follow the example of many executives before you by addressing your team then “dropping the mic.”
Instead, maintain an open, two-way dialogue with your intended audience. Internal stakeholders better receive what you want to convey when they’re part of the conversation.
Also, it’s essential to understand the political climate of your organization. Staff members are more likely to believe you when your statements align with that of their peers.
2. Manage Communications Consistently and Systematically
Today, time and human capital come at a premium. Resultantly, you must prioritize your communications. A structured methodology of delivering messages will make your corporate communication more effective.
Despite the medium – written or spoken – the messages you send to staff members should grab their attention and inspire progress toward reaching corporate objectives. Think of communication as an opportunity to educate recipients about how your strategic decisions apply to their roles and responsibilities.
Also, it’s not enough to teach those lessons once. You must reinforce your messages repeatedly over time to promote real change.
3. Keep Things Simple
As a business leader, you probably do a lot of research and have access to a wealth of information. Often, your fountain of knowledge will seep into your business communications. However, too much information can make recipients overlook the point that you need to make.
You only need to give internal stakeholders the information that they need. Otherwise, they’re wasting energy and time processing and sifting through unnecessary information, which leads to decreased productivity. One solid tip—don’t bury the lead. If you’re sending an email with a lot of detail, start with the most important takeaway at the beginning of the message.
And avoid jargon, especially when you’re communicating with external stakeholders, customers, or investors. You’ll only confuse your audience if you use too many industry terms. It’s better to use clear, simple language that the average person can understand so that you can spend less time defining jargon and more time talking about things that really matter. Pay attention to your company’s voice and tone guidelines—and if you don’t have anything official, think about putting together a brief voice and tone guide.
4. Consider the Audience
In a male-dominated business world, many executive leaders forget that members of their talent pool have varying backgrounds. Resultantly, they may tend to craft internal communications solely from a male perspective. A growing number of women business leaders, however, advocate for gender equality in the workplace.
In the spirit of diversity, it’s essential that you consider your audience when crafting business communications, especially when communicating with front-line employees.
Typically, customer-facing employees are the first point of contact for potential new customers. It’s worth it to invest the time and energy into ensuring that employees can internalize your strategy and understand how to create exceptional customer experiences.
5. Use the Right Tools for the Job
There’s an endless supply of tools that you can incorporate into your internal communication strategy. All organizations use email. At the very least, make sure you’re using it well. A shared inbox tool like Outpost can help your team stay organized and leverage templates or even “assignments” so it’s perfectly clear who is responsible for a given message.
You might also find ways to leverage tools like Slack, for more timely internal communication, or for a more nimble brainstorming option. You might also look at internal task management tools like Trello and Asana to keep workflows organized and on schedule. And text messaging is a highly effective and favored form of business communication among employees.
Effective communication encompasses a lot of writing and talking. However, it’s equally as important to listen.
You can gain valuable insights by listening to what others have to say. By staying quiet and paying attention, you can firmly grasp what others want to express.
Then, you can reply by restating their point to ensure that you heard them correctly. By following this simple active listening exercise and deploying a few essential tips, you can enjoy a new level of organizational performance – all thanks to effective business communication.
Posted in: Productivity