As your company grows, you might face challenges maintaining the same level of transparency across departments and teams as you had when your company was small. However, doing so is crucial to cultivating a healthy company culture with every employee on the same page.
A big part of promoting transparency is ensuring clear communication between all departments, especially when it comes to shared projects and goals. To help you do this, nine members of Young Entrepreneur Council explained how to achieve the right level of communication and transparency.
1. Share A Monthly KPI Report
On a monthly basis, we compile a report with all of our KPIs. The report is shared across departments and it allows team members to see how their work is moving the dial in other areas of the company. It helps keep everyone aware of new initiatives and motivated to keep pushing forward, which is important when you’re growing. It also helps us quickly identify weak spots or problem areas and develop fixes. – Brian David Crane, Caller Smart Inc.
2. Document Important Instructions
To ensure clear communication, consider documenting and detailing the most important instructions as well as end goals on a project management board or group chat room. Providing detailed instructions initially, although at times arduous, will in the long run ensure a high standard of communication and more efficient operations, as less time is spent trying to figure out the task at hand and more time is spent working toward its completion instead. Entrepreneurs must take care, however, not to provide step-by-step instructions on what to do, or they risk creating a top-down environment where all instructions are provided by managers and proactive critical thinking by nonmanagerial employees is not fostered. – Salvador Ordorica, The Spanish Group LLC
3. Conduct One-On-One Meetings
To have stellar communication across departments, it helps to conduct one-on-one meetings with different employees. Whether they’re the head of the department or regular employees, getting everyone’s feedback is a surefire way to stay on top of communications and ensure that everyone’s on the same page. – Stephanie Wells, Formidable Forms
4. Use A Dashboard System
You need to either create or buy a dashboard system. This will allow all client files, notes, briefs, emails and anything related to a project to be stored. Anyone new to the project can read through a brief list about the project or track back on comments from months ago. In addition, you need other views to show whether projects are on track, which ones need help or which ones are going great. You should also have weekly team meetings about all projects and any issues you are having with them. This allows time for the team to get together and discuss common problems and fix them in the process. – Peter Boyd, PaperStreet Web Design
5. Incorporate The Right Project Management Tools
It’s important to incorporate the right tools. Utilizing a tool like Asana, for example, allows different teams and all the members within those teams to stay up to date on projects, collaborate, share resources and communicate—all in one place. The best way to maintain transparency and communication is to use tools such as this to make goals, projects and communication as simple and straightforward as possible. Using too many tools and processes just complicates things further. It will only make tasks feel more confusing, disorganized and stressful. – Blair Thomas, eMerchantBroker
6. Build An Encouraging Company Culture
Aside from using the right tools, you also need to build a company culture where people are encouraged to speak up. We use a chat messaging platform and share insights, questions, problems and everything else in the team and company-wide channels. Leaders in the business often jump in to answer questions and share what they think. When employees see leaders and supervisors listening and answering queries, it tells them that they can and should reach out whenever they have problems. Having the right attitude and then backing it up with clear workflows, project management tools and other means is what makes for internal transparency. – Syed Balkhi, WPBeginner
7. Hold Daily Standups
Have a team call at the start and end of the day. Reiterate the next steps and goal of each project. Record the meetings and add a transcript if possible to avoid miscommunication. Finally, document each task and progress or roadblocks in a shared tool and add a deadline for each task. – Daisy Jing, Banish
8. Create Incentives
Build incentives for transparency and communication and trust leaders to do the managing toward goals. Build a team around the leaders and entrust your leaders to connect the dots within the team, then devise an incentive system from the top. Offer rewards for improving communication if you want this to happen. Make it a goal and offer a reward for accomplishing it—like a raise, a bonus or a gift card. You will find that if you incentivize it at first, it becomes a habit between teams, and eventually a cornerstone of your corporate culture. Transparency is like a muscle you have to work out. When you have external motivation first, it makes it worth it to exercise transparency. Then, with practice, you develop internal motivation to communicate with transparency. – Matthew Capala, Alphametic
9. Empower Your Management Team
Share detailed information on a regular basis with all of your department and team leads. As the organization grows, it becomes nearly impossible to do one-on-ones anymore. However, companies hire and promote managers who instill the organizational qualities and carry the cultural values over to their corresponding units. Providing the right level of transparency to managers and leads enables every person in the organization to receive the information they care about directly. Most motivated employees can use the additional insights as a stepping stone in the organization since proactivity is a key trait for any managerial role. – Mario Peshev, DevriX