Office communications are a tricky thing for a small business.
A bad system can often result in a bad work environment, as employees find working in your office tiresome, stressful, and unpleasant. It is a good idea for managers to regularly assess the way things get done in your workplace to ensure that things are not only running efficiently, but that your employees find it easier to do their jobs with pride.
It will be easy to say, “We’re too small for any of this.” However, regardless of size, businesses employ people, and people have certain needs to be met before becoming the happy and productive employees you want them to be. If you will make sure the following 5 systems are in place, you and your team will enjoy a pleasant work environment. After all, happy employees means happy customers!
For Great Office Communications, Everyone Needs a Job Description
Job descriptions give clear understanding to employees about their jobs. When you are not around to instruct them, a job description helps them to know the boundaries of freedom which employees have to operate. Job descriptions also prevent bleed-over, the problem of one employee doing the work of other employees. Lastly, job descriptions prevent power struggles, as they should clearly spell out the hierarchy of management.
For Great Office Communications, Everyone Needs an Email Address
A great way to keep communications within the office clear is to give every employee some way of documenting communication. Whether that be an email address or an app like Slack, employees can create a “paper trail” for when deadlines and updates are communicated. It is also a great way to leave a digital note detailing a phone message that keeps your office greener, leaving a more environmentally friendly footprint. No more post it notes all over the desk…that is, unless it’s a prank.
For Great Office Communications, Everyone Needs Phone Training
If your office receives a lot of phone calls per day, most of your employees are going to need to know the basic functions of your phone system. Assuming that your system is from this century, employees should know how to transfer a call, hold a call, and access their own voicemail. A call attendant is a nice feature, even for small businesses, which routes calls to the correct person. This way, everyone’s phone isn’t ringing all day. It can be quite distracting and annoying, especially if some departments or employees do not answer the phones as a part of their job description.
For Great Office Communications, Everyone Needs to Know the Processes
Each employee needs to be trained on your inter-office communications systems. They all need to know the process for having something posted on the web, how to call a meeting, reserve a room, pitch an idea, or even receive reimbursement for expenses. Training on these processes once does not mean that your employees remember everything. We recommend training on one of these or more at least once a quarter. Calling meeting with departments should be part of your regular routine anyway, so use this time to highlight one process with the last 10 minutes of the meeting.
For Great Office Communications, Everyone Needs to Eat Together
The last system for great office communications is to remember that you employee people, not machines. People are highly relational beings and need to have time together that has nothing to do with work in order to function properly. Cater lunch once a quarter (or month) and end your meal together with an open-ended sentence for everyone to answer like “Something exciting going on for me outside of work is…” Getting to know your people without the Meyer’s-Briggs can be the fast track for smooth operation in the office.
We hope that these tips will help you establish a great working environment for your employees! What have you found that works at your small business? Let us know in the comments.