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Team Communication Tips: Keeping Your Small Business in Sync

Updated: May 13

Your business likely has a robust external communication strategy to market your products or services and encourage client loyalty. However, it’s equally important to prioritize streamlined internal communication among team members. 

Internal communication helps to promote your team’s ongoing collaboration, boost employee morale, and even increase revenue. One study estimates that U.S. businesses collectively lose $1.2 trillion annually due to poor communication—or approximately $12,506 per employee every year.

To avoid leaving money on the table and stalling your small business’s success, you need a strong internal communication plan. In this article, we’ll discuss three best practices to improve communication within your small business team. 

Establish clear channels

Understanding the best way to get into contact with another team member will facilitate smoother coordination of tasks, reduce misunderstandings, and ultimately enhance overall productivity within your small business. Determine your primary communication channels, such as: 

  • Email

  • Messaging apps like Slack or Microsoft Teams

  • Video conferencing tools like Zoom

  • Project management platforms like Trello or Asana 

You can also use an industry-specific messaging app to access built-in tools that will benefit your business. For example, DanceStudio-Pro recommends that dance studios use an app with segmentation capabilities so they can set up separate communication streams with different employees, including dance instructors, front desk staff, and administrative personnel. 

It can also be helpful to set up guidelines for each channel’s use. For example, you might use email for quick questions, updates, and messages, while Zoom is reserved for discussing more involved matters. Avoid using too many communication channels, as this can lead to confusion among team members and too much time expended on switching between different platforms.

Encourage open communication

Imagine if one of your team members had a great idea for boosting customer retention and overall revenue but felt too scared to bring this idea forward.To set your business up for success, cultivate a culture of open communication where team members feel comfortable sharing their ideas, concerns, and feedback. Open communication can help your business: 

  • Enhance collaboration: By creating an environment where team members freely share information and ideas, you can cultivate better problem-solving, innovation, and teamwork. 

  • Build trust: When employees feel that their voices are heard and respected, it builds trust within the team. As a result, you’ll be able to foster more productive working relationships. 

  • Increase engagement: Encouraging employees to push forward different ideas fosters greater engagement and investment in the business’s growth. As a result, you’ll improve employee retention rates and overall role satisfaction. 

To create a culture of open communication, your business’s leaders should practice active listening and invite team members to voice their opinions and ideas in weekly meetings. If an idea sounds viable, encourage employees to develop more formalized proposals describing who will execute this task, how many hours it will take, what it will involve, and the expected business outcomes. 

For example, let’s say you’re a dance studio owner struggling to increase registration numbers for your new ballet class offering. You might encourage your employees to ideate on different ways to market this new class, such as by bolstering your multichannel marketing strategy, creating more personalized communications, or enlisting dance influencers to help spread the word. 

Once an employee comes up with a well-thought-out idea and a plan to execute it, encourage them to take charge and move full speed ahead. This will help to bolster trust and improve productivity. Provide support and resources as needed to push this project forward. 

Create an internal recognition system

One of the cornerstones of strong team communication is recognizing peers on a job well done. Create clearly defined ways for employees to congratulate one another, strengthen interpersonal relationships, and boost workplace morale. 

For example, you might use one or a combination of the following best practices:

  • Send eCards: eCardWidget’s guide to peer-to-peer recognition recommends encouraging team members to send digital cards when their peers hit a certain goal or show a business value in practice. This helps team members feel more connected to their co-workers and eager to keep meeting and exceeding expectations. 

  • Create a bravo board: Create a remote or physical bravo board where employees can add a sticky note recognizing team members for doing great work. If you have time, read through all the bravos at the end of each week as a group to increase their impact. 

  • Provide shout-outs during weekly meetings: Whether you’re the CEO of a bakery in your local community or a dance studio owner, it’s important for your employees to hear directly from leadership how they’re progressing. For example, the leader of your small business might give a special shout-out to one employee each week, providing context for what they did well and motivating them to keep up the good work. 

Make it as easy as possible for your team members to engage in peer-to-peer recognition. For example, if you’re using an eCard platform, provide clear instructions on how to send these digital cards to avoid confusion and allow everyone to send them without delay. 

Wrapping Up

By implementing these communication tips, you can improve collaboration, increase efficiency, and boost morale within your small business. Collect employee feedback on your internal communication framework and make adjustments as needed to maximize its effectiveness. 


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