2019 is a new time. A time where people are asking for what they want, and making sure they’re given what they need. No longer do we have a company filled with employees that think, “If I give them 20 years of my life, I’ll eventually be rewarded, and I’ll eventually be happy.” Whether this is a better world can be debated (hint on my mindset: IT IS!), but the reality is this: We live in a new world of workers where just because they are working doesn’t mean they are happy, and unhappy workers leave their jobs for something that makes them happy.

One of the best ways to make sure your workers are happy and that the work is up to par for the business and clients is something extremely important: Communication. Yes, it is that easy. What isn’t so easy, though, is making sure that you’re communicating well. I’ve laid out 4 key things you should be doing with your staff to make sure you’re hearing them and they’re hearing you.  


Assess How Your Team Communicates and Which Channels are Best

E-mails, calls, texts, 3rd party programs. There are a variety of ways that people can talk, and many times people use multiple channels. With the conversations hopping all over the place, and many times with multiple people, things will inevitably get lost in translation. Talk with your team (for this I recommend in-person) and figure out who uses what, and why? Bell + Ivy uses Slack, which has made our communication much more streamlined. Not only can you have individual conversations going on but you can create multiple channels for a specific topic or client. Encourage your workers to communicate in the channels, where all who are relevant to the topic/client can see, and you will see an increase in collaboration as well as a decrease in the time it takes to solve problems or track down information. Other communication programs for businesses are Hipchat and Bitrix24. Find which works best for your business/team and get everyone on board!


Team Meetings

I love a good weekly meeting. Not only do I get to see the faces of everyone that may have been darting around busy all week (remote workers included; hello, video!), but I also get to hear about different projects that don’t touch me. Transparency is good, and it’s also helpful when you can get a fresh pair of eyes & ears on a project or problem. While I don’t recommend letting everyone have a say in everything, I would suggest having the team go around and share what they’re working on and what they need help with for the week. Encourage them to ask questions about the projects they aren’t working on. Quick, concise, informative.


Team Lunches & Outings

Getting everyone out of the office together isn’t just fun, it’s also helpful. Something as easy as a monthly lunch or quarterly group outing can help your team to loosen up and feel good about their coworkers, their boss, and their interactions with them. People can open up when they’re sharing a table and a meal outside of the office and this is one of my favorite ways to get everyone chatting, even if it isn’t all about work. When people get along and feel good about their interactions with each other, they’ll find it is easier to collaborate and even easier to address work issues that may have started to brew.

One-on-One Meetings

Please don’t overstep any boundaries, but having solo meetings with your team members is one of the greatest ways to make sure someone is happy and productive. Make sure your team knows that you care about what’s going on, and allow them this time to bring up any issues they may be having. What can you do to help? Why are they feeling like this? Communicating one-on-one (correctly!) allows for you to get a better perspective of what may be holding someone up or putting someone out, which will allow you to address it before it becomes so large of an issue that someone leaves their job, or you lose a client.

Communicating is easy, or is it? Whether or not you’re having issues, be sure to follow the 4 tips above to make sure you and your team aren’t just speaking to each other, but understanding one another.