Importance of communication in small companies
Probably Communication is not one of the most desired topics that our readers would like to talk about and it’s somehow comprehensible due to the fact that:
- This concept is abstract.
- Most of the articles that can be found put emphasis only on “how” to perform it but do not explain first “why” is it needed.
The purpose of this article is to explain with real examples and scenarios, why at Zaleos we have come to the conclusion that this process is key (especially in small companies like ours), and which are some of the guidelines we have followed so far.
People usually associate Communication only with big companies and more specifically something which only concerns Commercial or Marketing teams, because it’s the most tangible and representative example where anybody can notice the importance it has: The consequence of not performing it correctly is the quick and clear damage of the relationship with customers.
However, that’s not the only area where this communication process matters because ALL of us, as members of teams within companies, are actively involved in it also at internal level!
Let us give you some descriptive examples here below.
2. What does Communication exactly serve for?
How many times have you asked or heard questions like the following ones?
Does anybody know when is the release date for this project?
When is the deadline for the task I'm currently working on?
Which are the impacts of the work I'm doing internally at customer level?
Is the company achieving the targets set by the CEO for this year?
Which is the company strategy in the long term?
Probably more than once, right?
Ok, so what if we ask you now: In your company…
- Are you able to get the previous question answered?
- Do you know where to retrieve those answers?
- How reliable/trustable is the source where you get those inputs from?
We are pretty sure you are understanding now better where do we want to arrive and it’s the fact that a negative or missing output for any of the previous questions is related to the same and unique issue: Bad communication practices.
3. Why is it so important then? What’s the benefit of following good practices here?
There are 2 main reasons which can be easily deduced from previous comments:
- Transparency is the best tool to generate confidence and comprehension among team members.
- Wrong messages can drive to losses of time and efforts, hence decrease of productivity.
It’s true that this process requires a lot of effort, but the results are so gratifying that it pays off in the short, mid and long run.
4. How can you measure or evaluate if the communication process is performing well?
That’s not a trivial thing: As mentioned at the beginning of this article, this is one of the most abstract processes in any company so it’s hard to define metrics to measure it.
Based on our experience, probably the best way to measure it is to identify how many people is getting a good level of awareness and understanding about specific topics you want to share, so try to do periodical checks and use reminders (with moderation) to verify that.
5. Is there a methodology to guarantee good results here?
There are maybe tons of different methodologies and formats to do so, but you should use the one/s which can fit better with your company or team culture.
Regardless of the method used in the end, here are some guidelines that at Zaleos we always try to follow:
- Identify the right audience to issue a communication => Don’t spam people who is not expected to do something with that information!
- Be transparent and sincere in the way you communicate something.
- Be empathetic, specially when you need to address a sensitive topic => Put yourself in their shoes and try to communicate things in the way you would like to be told!
- Don’t be afraid to share any sensitive topic (again, paying attention to the audience in front of you).
In order to avoid sentences like “I didn’t know this was used by the customer…”, “I was not aware about the fact that this is expected for next week…” which can provoke negative impacts at performance level (e.g. delayed planning/scheduling, bad quality of outputs…) but also at emotional one (e.g. lack of motivation, frustration…), please remember that “Communication” practices are there to help creating solid teams and workflows.
…And this applies to any company, specially the small ones where the impacts are higher!
If you want to go deep, here are some interesting articles we recommend to read: