How to Build Trust and Transparency in Business

 How-to-Build-Trust-and-Transparency-in-BusinessIf 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 Meetings-with-a-purpose-plan-out-topics-of-meeting

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  Weave-feedback-into-your-regular-communication.

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 Weave-feedback-into-your-regular-communication.

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 Master-of-Goal-Setting-and-Transparency-starts-with-setting-the-right-kinds-of-goals

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!

5 Tips To Help You Stand Out At A Virtual Networking Event

How-to-stand-out-at-virtual-networking-events.                       Picture: Geralt/Pixabay

In this new COVID-19 world, we’re learning how to go about our daily lives in a new way. Rather than attending events in person, we’re attending them in a virtual format. Networking events are no different. 

We’re still able to meet new people, but only through our cameras and microphones. With this barrier, how are you supposed to stand out? The following tips should help. 

Follow Up

Even if you click with a few people during your virtual networking event, it can be challenging to know what to do with those relationships next. Do you send them an email? Do you give them a call? Is it appropriate to add them on social media? 

If you’re not quite sure where this newfound relationship could lead, consider corporate gifts and promotional products. By sending products to as many people as possible in your virtual networking event, you put yourself in a desirable position to be remembered. 

They’ll have a branded product from your business to remember you at the right time, and you may just be able to strike up a conversation if they contact you to thank you for the nice surprise. 

Go on Camera  

There are many benefits associated with networking, but how you attend networking events will determine which benefits you’re likely to experience for yourself. If you’re an anonymous addition to the virtual event, with no webcam, you’re unlikely to be remembered. 

Even if you express, at great length, your business offerings and reach, people still need to put a face to the name. Turn your webcam on, and make sure it faces you so that you’re looking directly at the lens. 

Dress in professional business attire, and ensure the lighting is just right. If you can, avoid sitting in front of a window as it can negatively impact your picture quality. It’s also important to check that you’ve got a clear background behind you. 

Have a Goal in Mind

Attending a virtual networking event without a goal can be a pointless exercise. Therefore, before you log onto that Zoom call, think about what you hope to achieve. You might be looking for some tips on a subject that’s been troubling you or to exchange ideas about something in particular. Many people also attend networking events, both virtual and in-person, to learn more about specific fields or make new connections in those fields. 

Ask Questions

There are few things as awkward in an online networking event as silence. The conversation has stopped flowing, and no one knows what to say next. Avoid this scenario by having a list of thought-provoking questions you can slip into any awkward silences.

After doing this enough times, you can confidently leave conference calls knowing that you stood out as a leader

If you’re not sure what kind of questions to ask, do your homework before the event begins. Find out the career paths of some of the participants. You can then ask questions about people’s latest projects and triumphs. 

Show Gratitude  

At the end of the event, as everyone is signing off, thank the host for organizing it. If the host isn’t present, contact them afterward to express your gratitude. This gesture of appreciation is bound to be welcomed and may just secure your invite to the next meet-up.   

Virtual events can be a lot to wrap your head around. They’re new and dramatically different from in-person gatherings. However, the same principles apply. By setting goals, being assertive on camera, and remembering to follow up, there’s certainly a chance that you can stand out for all the right reasons.