Security dealers utilize different departments so interoffice communication is a crucial factor for success.
Security dealers utilize different departments so interoffice communication is a crucial factor for success. Poor communication strategies can lead to quiet frustration, slow processes or mistakes being made due to misunderstandings. Here are six ideas for how you can improve the exchange of ideas in your small business:
1. Remove the barriers
Small Biz Daily suggested “walls” put up between employees are major obstacles to business communication. These can be physical barriers or the separation of departments.
Sales agents could ignore customer service until a complaint is registered. Field technicians making infrequent trips to the office might not feel like they are part of the company culture.
A small business can encourage communication through open door policies and asking for questions. Technology tools can be adopted to eliminate the obstacle of distance and demonstrate the need for a unified office.
“Most employees are using online tools for office communication.”
2. Employ online tools
Business Knowledge Source argued modern offices don’t rely on phone calls or physical memos. Most employees are using online tools for office communication.
A small business might use emails, instant messaging, texting and an office intranet to exchange information and ideas. Multiple options allow employees to speak up in a manner they are most comfortable. If you provide mobile equipment for your field agents, they can participate in updates as easily as if they were in the office next door.
Technology provides speed. As soon as a customer places an order, communication tools can be used to report the information about the sale to the rest of the company. Fast messaging ensures the entire business is working together and nobody is using outdated resources.
It is important that no matter what channel is being used, the information is consistent. A company should use security dealer software that can be implemented on all communication devices.
3. Formal vs. casual
Are you chatting or are you conveying important company information? Your office needs to determine which channels of communication are for work and which can be used personally.
Friendly conversations in the hall are great for team building, but you may want to ensure company emails remain professional. Some companies use chat programs for casual online communications and then insist meetings stick to an organized schedule and formal exchanges.
Figure out which systems work for you and make your employees aware of the preferred company communication decorum.
4. Keep a record
Formal communications should be saved as part of the company software system. Any information generated during employee interactions that will affect business practices or customer service must be kept on record.
Reporting data from communications will not only create a clear history that can be referenced by other members of your business, but it will help during times of disagreement. You can track records to find where misunderstandings took place.
5. Be specific
People can’t read your mind, if you are not crystal clear on your needs and requests there is always room for misinterpretation. Business 2 Community recommended office communications should avoid using too many words or abstract ideas.
Hard data is always best. Real-time information reporting and a unified communication process will allow you to update different departments with facts as opposed to vague guesses. When conversations takes place, every member can be looking at the same set of data provided by an integrated software system.
6. Schedule routine meetings
Technology and online tools are great but there is still a need for physical meetings. Demand Media suggested scheduling regular interactions to discuss plans and goals in person.
Physical communication will be complemented by body language and emotional inflection. It is the simplest way to get a read on your people and determine what information and messages are most important to them.