Tag Archives: Tips to Improve Communications in Business

Communication is Everything

Communication is Everything

Communication is everything in business - Hyatt Lassaline Windsor OntFor a successful business, communication is everything.

Would you like to learn simple ways to improve workplace communications in a few minutes a week?

Here’s how it works: Leave your email address and the Improving Business Communications series will begin immediately.

The information will be emailed to you every four days for 3 weeks.

It’s fast and effective. The series will help reduce your stress and strengthen your team.

The Importance of Mutual Respect in the Workplace

The Importance of Mutual Respect in the Workplace

Most business owners feel that the most important thing to their employees is money. Have you as a business owner ever asked your employees what is important to them in the workplace?

If you survey the employees of any business and ask them to rank what is important to them,  ‘Respect’ always ranks higher than ‘Money’. In fact, with the surveys we’ve done, ‘Money’ usually ranks third or fourth.

Many business owners feel, ‘Why should I give respect when I don’t get any back?’ If this is your sentiment, then it proves that a lack of respect does exist in your business.

Mutual respect in the workplace is valuable and free Hyatt LassalineThe solution is mutual respect – The business owner and managers respect the employees and the employees respect the owners and managers. Leadership starts at the top and therefore respect improvement programs must begin with the leadership. The desire for mutual respect should be genuine, transparent and consistent to be effective.

Consider the following communication:

“Hi everyone, as the owner of this business I would like to behave respectfully in all my interactions. I welcome your feedback on this topic. In return, I ask each of you to also act respectfully. Does that sound fair to everyone?”

How can mutual respect be demonstrated?

  •          Truly listen to your employees and act upon their suggestions or opinions whenever able to do so.
  •          Give praise directly and in a timely fashion for a job well done.
  •          Share with your employees the goals of the business and endeavor to understand their personal and professional goals.
  •          Confirm the employee’s role in the success of the business.

The bonus benefit of establishing respect in the workplace is that it’s free to give and to your employees, it’s more valuable than money.

Effective and Efficient Team Meetings

Effective and Efficient Team Meetings

As an advisor to small business, I find the businesses that hold regular meetings are also the businesses that run more efficiently.

Tips to holding business team or staff meetings Windsor Ontario1) Commit to holding a team meeting every week – Dedicate a specific time and day of the week for the meeting. If some employees cannot attend, have the meeting anyway. The non-attendees will find out what they missed informally.

2) Hold a ‘one topic meeting’ – Have a meeting and focus solely on one issue. Ask participants to read any content, watch any video, and prepare any thoughts ahead of time.

3) Publish the agenda ahead of the meeting – If you are looking to gather input and ideas, make it known ahead of the meeting. I used to ask for ideas at our weekly meetings and received very little input.  I discovered this wasn’t because the team didn’t have any – it was because I didn’t give them sufficient time to consider the question! Questions and concerns regarding the topic should be submitted ahead of the meeting.

4) Keep brief written notes of the meetings – This gives clarity to the issues addressed at the meeting and provides clearer communications to the employees who did not attend. Remember to share the notes after the meeting.

5) Keep the meetings a short as possible – If you haven’t held regular meetings before, the first few meetings will take a while to get the routine down.  Once the routine is established, the meetings will become more efficient and effective.

6)  Don’t wait for those who are late – Implementation of this philosophy makes for more efficient meetings, increases the respect of those that arrived on time and a likely improvement in the attendance of the late arrivals.

7) Define specific actions – Not applicable in every meeting, but if there are specific actions as a result, be sure the actions, roles, players and deadlines are clearly communicated.

Good communication is essential for growing or thriving businesses, and regular business meetings are a fantastic opportunity to open the lines.

Improving Communications – Business Owner & Banker

Improving Communications – Business Owner & Banker

Bankers speak one language – business owners speak a different one – when they get together without a translator, the result is usually frustration. Here are some tips to help improve this communication gap.

1)      Don’t assume that a personal relationship matters to the banker. A business owner might say, ‘I opened my account at this institution when I was a kid and I have made every payment on every loan on time – therefore lend me some more money please.’ Bankers are thinking, ‘I have a lot of paperwork to fill out for you, how can you make it easy to complete so I am not late for my lunch!

TIP – Make it easy for bankers to complete their paperwork. You need to prepare and input the correct information so the lender can easily and quickly start the process.

2)      A business owner will say to the banker, ‘I have a great business idea, I know it will work and I have a track record of making money.’ The banker is thinking, ‘Who am I going to sell your stuff to after you fail in business so I can get my money back?’

TIP – Consider what hard assets you can provide to the bank as security. They are not risk takers and rather lend against equipment or property.  Accounts Receivable is bankable and sometimes inventory. Match your request to the type of loan that they want to lend you. If it is easier for the bank to do a $25K term loan than a $25K line of credit, then ask for the term loan.

3) Business owners often find something to purchase in the morning and would like the loan approved in the afternoon. If you don’t give a banker enough time to process your application they will just say no.

TIP – Be proactive in planning for your loan requests. For example, bankers typically do an annual review of your file. If you advise them before the annual review that you may be spending $250K on capital purchases this next year, you can ask them to pre-approve the loan. There will still be paperwork to complete at the time of purchase, but at least the banker doesn’t have to re-review your entire file for the new request.

In summary, business owners are often frustrated by the banking process. All it really does is re-enforce the importance of building the financial strength of your business so you don’t need your banker anymore! How do you know when your business has sufficient financial strength? When your banker calls you up and asks, ‘Do you need us to lend you any money?’!

BONUS TIP – Take your accountant or business advisor to the bank with you to translate.