Communication is one of the keys to small business success. Communication impacts execution, profitability, and most importantly, growth. As a leader, it’s imperative that you share updates about the current state of the business, and lay out the direction/vision of where you see your business going.
Over the years, I have found transparency to be the best approach for me. It allows me to converse openly on all fronts — the good, the bad, the ugly. This way you can cut to the chase and address any misperceptions, clarify recently asked questions, and/or ground the team back to the basics.
One way that I’ve tried to share our company’s performance in a group setting is to host a monthly meeting. I know what you may be thinking, “Another meeting. Great, thanks.” Trust me, it’s crucial that you make the effort; your employees deserve the time and information.
Helpful hints to run an effective, informative company meeting:
- Determine the top three goals you want to achieve
- Create and send out an agenda
- Try out different formats/forums to see works best for you and your team
- Plan for interactive sections throughout
- Be prepared for the easy and hard questions
- Record action items
If I’ve already stumped you with #1, here are my 3 company meeting objectives:
- Share Results:
- Call out where we exceled
- Identify areas for improvement
- Set expectations moving forward
- Show Recognition & Appreciation:
- Highlight those who have hit the ball out of the park
- Clear the Air:
- What information have I shared in other communication methods (email, side conversation, small meeting, etc.) that may need to be revisited, have an update or needs to be discussed further?
Here at 123Print, we have tried a couple of different formats, and we are constantly tweaking. Each month, before our round table discussion, my leadership team and I put together a PowerPoint presentation covering all the goals with highlights from each department. We send this out as a pre-read so our conversation is expedited to the important discussion points. I strive to create an open environment so that the conversation can be freer flowing and shift in the direction our team takes the discussion.
I firmly believe it’s important to be in constant contact with your employees. It will be easier for them to know how they fit into the big picture; the company’s vision. The extra time and effort that it takes to communicate is an investment worth making!
What ways have you found to be the most effective in communicating with your employees? How often do you hold company meetings? (If you do at all!) We’d love to hear your feedback — leave a comment below, or connect with us on Facebook, Twitter or Google+.