George Hanley is an entrepreneur and business development specialist, who enjoys helping business owners overcome everyday obstacles. He creates valuable blog posts about his two key passions – business and travel – and always aims to inspire his readers.
Setting up a business comes with a wide range of challenges that could affect the company’s profitability and overall success. Whilst it’s not always easy, surmounting these obstacles early gives you the freedom to develop the business in whichever way you desire.
Problems with communication can be particularly prominent when starting a business, and being able to identify these issues allows you to address them quickly. By streamlining communication and making it as seamless as possible, you can help your business become much more efficient in the process, and improve your customer satisfaction ratings. Let’s look at four of the most significant communication issues that can easily impact new businesses.
1. Communication silos
A key issue with communication for any company is segmentation – where important information stays in one department. Business leaders may be unfamiliar with communication hierarchies and deciding which pieces of information are relevant for every individual, leading to people working with incomplete data. Alternatively, a manager or executive might only talk to the people they work most closely with.
It’s vital that you work to stop your company from succumbing to a ‘silo mentality’, as collaboration and communication is essential for success. To resolve this, you might enforce regular meetings that give the team an opportunity to discuss their work.
2. Unnecessary meetings
Though meetings can be a great way to combat a lack of communication across the company and inform team members about any relevant updates, frequent meetings with little to discuss might be a waste of time. These meetings take team members away from other duties and may affect their productivity.
If you do decide a meeting is essential, it’s important to make the purpose clear to everyone involved. Create an agenda for every meeting with relevant discussion points which help to illuminate the importance of these topics. The agenda could also show opportunities for you to streamline these meetings to take up less employee time.
3. An inefficient communication network
The path that messages travel to reach your team and staff members can have a significant impact on the efficiency and success of your company’s communications. Without a centralized hub for communicating with employees, small or new businesses usually rely on conventional channels such as text messages and emails to conduct business. This is often a workable setup for many businesses but can be difficult to keep track of – as just one missed email can result in a serious miscommunication.
Instead, create a policy around workplace communications, and empower your manager to enforce it, while ensuring that their team has the software and technology they need.
4. Micromanaging employees
If this is your first time running a business, you may be unsure about how to balance the right amount of guidance and freedom for employees. While you will want to regularly check in with them, it’s possible to communicate with staff too much by frequently calling to ask for progress updates and scheduling impromptu meetings during their tasks.
A first-time business owner may struggle to let employees work independently, which might cause interpersonal conflict and productivity problems. Emailing them instead can give your employees time to focus on their duties and respond at their convenience; when it comes to communication, less is sometimes more. Make sure that you don’t micromanage your employees – trust is essential for the success of any business.
Being able to connect well with your employees improves your mutual rapport, resulting in greater levels of productivity across the business and allowing you to get their honest opinion on how the firm can improve. On top of this, working to ensure your customers are satisfied and receive excellent support from your team could lead to more sales.
It’s common for new companies and new business owners to struggle with communication; understanding these issues and working to address them helps your firm enjoy even greater success from the outset.