If you have your very own small, family business, you might think that honesty goes without saying. You work with a small group of trusted people, you already know each other’s strengths and shortcomings, so you naturally assume that you’re on the same page. Soon enough, every small business owner learns that even small, family businesses can suffer from a lack of transparency in their ranks.
This is when those unpleasant misunderstandings occur, when people don’t feel accountable for their portion of the work, or they fail to share how they really feel about a certain process. To build trust and transparency in your own business, you need to start with setting up the right communication procedures as well as tools.
Here’s how you can take care of your company and build more trust with everyone working along your side!
Meetings with a purpose
Too many smaller businesses waste hours of their precious time on meetings that don’t have a designated agenda. To make the most of that time you spend in your meetings, make sure that you, first of all, help people prepare for the meeting by letting them know what they will be expected to talk about – if they should provide a financial report, suggest ideas, summarize their daily work, etc.
Share the agenda beforehand so that everyone can prepare, and take your efforts a step further: make sure that you set a time frame for each subject you want to cover. That way, you won’t spend two hours in a call that should have, realistically, lasted no more than 45 minutes.
Communication and scheduling tools
Time management is vital for setting company standards, but it’s also a crucial component for helping employees build healthy, transparent communication on a daily basis. Every business, no matter how big or small, needs to use effective scheduling software that helps you set up your daily routine and ensure fair workload allocation.
Everyone should have access to your software, so that they know when they can reach out to other team members, text them, and set up automatic notifications that will help everyone stay on track with all the meetings and tasks. When you simplify scheduling and rostering, your employees will have an easier time asking for help if they have too much on their plate, or they can step in and help a coworker when they have a little bit of extra time.
Feedback is a must
There is no way to improve your business or your output if you don’t know what troubles your employees. Then again, you cannot expect them to share any of their worries or issues if the atmosphere in your company doesn’t allow for such interactions.
Make sure to weave feedback into your regular communication, be it via email, polls and surveys, or if you want to set up one-on-one chats with your team. Asking for constructive feedback and acting upon it means that they will feel more comfortable sharing their ideas in the future – and that inevitably leads to growth and prosperity!
Master the art of goal-setting
Do your employees know what it takes to finish their tasks? What about the purpose of those tasks as they relate to your grander goals as a company? Transparency starts with setting the right kinds of goals, both for individual employees and for your entire company.
From time to time, even if it’s every quarter, you can organize team meetings to talk about goals and help everyone set their goals as well as weekly and monthly milestones. That will set the right expectations and standards for every employee, and allow you to tailor-make your business plans based on what your employees can deliver.
Keep everyone in the loop
Even smaller companies have different sectors and departments, taking care of different, seemingly unconnected tasks. Your marketing specialist might be tackling the newsletter, ads, and social media, while your sales guru could be processing customers while you’re coming up with more ways to offer original, authentic products or services.
Whether you’re running a local salon business, or you have a digital learning platform to offer classes, you should make sure that every employee knows your business inside out. Keeping people in the loop, sharing your ups and downs, letting them know when changes are coming up before they do, and the like will help sustain the morale in your company and boost trust.
As wonderful as it may be to have a family-owned company or to run a small business with a handful of people sharing the workload with you – trust is always essential. Building trust and loyalty starts with how you organize and manage your business.
Make sure to leverage the listed ideas and help your business thrive, so that everyone working with you will feel valued, happy, engaged, and above all, productive!