Success comes with good communication. Staying in close contact with your employees doesn’t guarantee that you’ll achieve your goals, but it’s very hard to achieve them without it.
The problem with maintaining the appropriate levels of communication? Well, life.
Obviously, you start every project dedicated to the idea that everyone will stay on the same page. But somehow, as emergencies come up, as goals and tactics change, as different team members get lost in different aspects of the project, everything ends up at least slightly muddled by the end.
The confusion might not tank the project. But it will force at least a minor reckoning, a brief burst of panic when all the loose strands have to get snipped and all the mismatched parts of the project have to get awkwardly cobbled together somehow.
By avoiding this painful reshaping process, you can optimize efficiency and maximize the quality of the final project. So, it’s in your best interest to keep communication at the highest levels from the inception of a project until its completion.
With that in mind, here are some measures you can take to ensure your team remains on the same page.
Get Everyone Involved Early
When a new initiative begins, don’t huddle confidentially in a locked room with a small group of inner-circle staffers. Instead, early on, identify everyone you’ll likely need over the course of your project. Then, include as many as possible in preliminary planning stages.
This will allow you to start everyone off on an even knowledge plane. You can at least feel confident you’re starting on the same page. Plus, bringing in additional sources of ideas might ultimately lead to a better outcome, along with a more inclusive working situation.
Clearly Delegate Responsibility
Once you have a game plan, make clear assignments of responsibilities. Let everyone know who’s in charge of what.
Also, keep those lines of responsibility clean as the project continues. If Donna is in charge of purchasing, don’t let Ted buy something just because Donna is late getting back from lunch. It may seem convenient in the moment, but will just cause confusion (and maybe hurt feelings) longer term.
Don’t Rely on Verbal Instructions
Make sure your instructions are in writing. Email is usually the best way to provide information. That way, there is no confusion about what’s been said and your employees have a place they can refer to, if they want to review the instruction.
If you do provide a verbal instruction, follow up later with an email repeating the information. It may seem redundant (or even a waste of time), but it will keep communication lines clear and avoid misunderstandings down the road.
Create a Central Clearing House
Have a central location where employees can access information. All the data needed to produce a project, all the instructions on what you want done, any models or templates you think they should use, all the applicable company policies – everything your employees need should exist on a digital file they can access as needed.
The goal here is to avoid materials getting scattered among different employees. It also keeps your team from constantly coming to you with low-level questions about the whereabouts of this or that document. They know where to look, streamlining their process and keeping your time open for more important tasks.
Keep tabs on everyone’s progress. Host regularly scheduled meetings for everyone to provide updates. This ensures everyone stays on the same page as the process evolves over time.
Open communication becomes easier when you have the right staff in place. Energetic, competent employees make it easy to build high-achieving teams, and a recruiter represents the best way to locate these kinds of employees quickly and efficiently.