3 Tips for Improving Employee Communication at Small Businesses

One advantage small businesses often have over larger competitors is a more nimble operating structure that allows them to quickly share information throughout the firm. But many smaller companies appear to be missing an opportunity to discuss and rally their staff around business objectives.

In a Robert Half Management Resources survey, 35 percent of CFOs at companies with 20-49 employees said their teams are not very or at all aware of the company’s strategic goals. At the largest firms (1,000 or more employees), however, just 9 percent of financial executives said this was the case.

When people understand their employer’s vision and how their work ties into it, they are more invested in the company’s success. Knowing how their contributions benefit the organization also is motivating for teams and can keep morale high as they work toward common goals.

Here are three steps small business owners and managers can take to improve communication of their company’s business objectives with staff.

1. Start early.

Mention big-picture goals during the interview process to see how you and the potential new employee can work together to reach them. Business objectives also should be a key focus area during the on-boarding process. Bringing new hires into the organization with a thorough understanding of the organization’s vision ensure they start contributing to its fulfillment from the start.

2. Stay in touch.

Provide regular updates on business goals, progress toward reaching them and what else needs to be done to accomplish them. There are myriad ways to discuss your targets internally, including one-on-one and group meetings, video, and email.

3. Recognize and reinforce.

Whether it’s a thank-you note, recognition at a staff meeting or a monetary incentive, acknowledge employees’ efforts that result in achieving business goals, and highlight specific actions they took that benefited the firm. This is motivational and reinforces the type of performance you expect.

For more insights on employee communication, please see our Small Business Center resources.