4 Tips for Optimizing Communication in Growing Companies
Growing your company is a good thing—it means you’re doing something right and finding success within your industry. But expansion inevitably brings with it new challenges. Businesses with 5,000 employees operate differently than those with 500, 50 or five. Only companies that can adapt their internal communication to scale up alongside the rest of their operations will achieve sustainable growth.
Communication is foundational in expansion. If your team members can’t collaborate, stay in the loop and get the information they need to make key decisions, your organization will suffer—as will morale and company culture.
Here are four tips for optimization communication in growing companies.
Give Employees the Tools to Thrive
Employees need access to the right tools to communicate well. Part of growth is ensuring your current tools can scale with you. Or, it might be time to deploy a new collaboration tool or platform to usher in your organization’s new era.
This may sound like a no brainer, but data says otherwise. One study on workplace communications found that “only 17 percent of companies report investing in some form of internal communication technology.”
Furthermore, investing in communications technology is just the first step. Management also must familiarize employees with its features through training, something that requires human power and time. The payoff, however, is the ability for quick, hassle-free communication throughout every level of your organization.
Enable Flawless Remote Communication
Some experts predict half of the U.S. workforce will be remote by 2020, as Business Insider reports. Whether you employ full-time remote workers, allow team members to work remotely part-time or are hoping to do so as you grow, it’s important to factor this into your overall plan.
The last thing you want is for important memos to slip through the cracks because people working outside the office have a hard time staying in the loop or receiving the information they need. Scalable videoconferencing can help here.
Make the Most of All-Hands Meetings
All-hands meetings, also known as town-hall meetings, bring everyone together—literally. They are integral in getting everyone on the same page because they facilitate open communication between employees at every level and upper leadership. Think of a ship captain rallying a crew; when there’s a sense of collectivity and unity, individuals feel more compelled to work toward the common goal.
The best all-hands meeting ideas (such as these from Poll Everywhere) help make these sessions highly engaging for everyone in attendance. Incorporating audience response technology allows participants to play an active role. Here are a few examples of this principle in action:
- Kick things off with an icebreaker activity
- Host a live brainstorm session
- Ask for honest comments and criticisms
- Hold a Q&A session with executives
- Allow employees to rank issues by importance
- Create a word cloud together
- Host a trivia competition
Lastly, make sure every all-hands meeting has a clear objective from the get-go. You want employees to leave the room motivated and understanding their role in bigger picture goals.
Learn from “Growing Pains” and Failures
There will always be hiccups, glitches and miscommunications when you’re growing a business. Treating them as valuable learning experiences will help your company avoid repeating them in the future. As one contributor for Business.com notes, “If communication failures are not identified, then they will often grow and fester like a painful sore.” The longer you wait to address shortcomings, the harder it will be to correct them.
Growing your company is an exciting endeavor. Just make sure your communication tools and policies are ready to keep pace. Use all-hands meetings as an opportunity to touch base with everyone at once; and expect some bumps in the road.