Does your team feel distant? Do projects get completed on time, but you feel like it would be easier if everyone is on the same page?
We know that running an agency is hard, yet rewarding work.
Whether you’re an in-house, or remote team, the success of your company and your overall output depends upon effective communication with your entire team. Having solid communication standards and protocols will help you fully realize the talents and insights of your entire team. Since most of us are immersed in our computer screens and phones throughout the workday, why not use this to our advantage?
Below we dive into a few methods and agency tools you can use to improve internal communications across your entire agency.
Internal Communication Best Practices
It’s not uncommon for internal communication to get glossed over. It’s usually something we end up taking for granted. But, by investing a little extra time into internal communication standards and procedures you’ll see overall employee satisfaction grow.
Great communication does more than improve your bottom line. It helps to foster a culture of support and understanding with your entire team. Having your team members feel like their opinion matters is a great way to make your workers feel confident in happy in their work.
1. Always Over-Communicate
Clear communication is an absolute necessity. Especially through the written and digital mediums. When you’re sending an email, or an internal message though an app like Slack, you need to be clear and remove all room for interpretation.
If you think your message is going to be confusing, then you should over-explain. This might take a little additional time up front, but it’s going to save you time from having to go back and forth down the road. When in doubt, say exactly what you mean, and clarify and hidden points.
2.Encourage Sharing Between Departments
Running an agency means there’s going to be a lot of people doing a ton of different tasks. Sometimes, once everyone gets down to work there’s little communication until the project is finished. It’s a good idea to encourage sharing small wins between various departments.
For instance, have your designer’s communicate with your copywriters. Your sales staff talk with your marketing team. This will help to keep everyone on the same page, and create more cohesive projects. This will also encourage a collaborative culture where every team member actually feels like part of the team, and can see the miscellaneous pieces coming together into a bigger picture.
3. Define Channels for Specific Conversations
You probably have a variety of channels that your team uses to communicate. Maybe you have email, Google Chat, or Facebook messenger. Maybe you even have your own internal messaging client.
Whatever tools you’re using it can be helpful to designate channels for a very specific focus. For instance, email can be used for longer project updates, while tools like Slack, can be used to check in on the morale of your team. Below we break down two tools you might want to consider utilizing to improve your agency’s communication.
Two Tools to Improve Internal Communication
There are probably dozens of tools you can choose from, along with new ones springing up every day. Instead, of trying to use every tool under the sun, or switching your team every time a shiny new tool becomes available we recommend focusing on the two below. These are the two main communication and organizational tools we use at Brandamos.
Trello is incredibly useful for managing projects that have a lot of moving pieces. Trello is great in that it can help to foster transparency. At any given time a team member can hop in and see how a project is progressing and give their own feedback. Trello can help to reduce the risk of regular and mundane meetings by providing a project scope at all times.
Trello lets everyone see what their team members are working on at any given time. Plus, it provides an area to share new things you might have learned, like an online class or webinar you attended. Trello is very flexible and allows you to upload all kinds of media, like videos, images, links and more. If you’re trying to keep tabs on a project and see it through to completion, then Trello is a must have in your arsenal.
Slack is a great tool for real-time communication. Plus, it can sync up to your phone, and even has desktop alerts, so you’re never out of the loop when your team members need you. It can help to reduce unnecessary email as you can have questions answered immediately, rather than them getting buried in a group email chain. Slack also makes it easy to set up different team communication channels, so you can message multiple people at once.
Plus, you can encourage team-wide communication so your employees can share current challenges, and even share day-to-day life updates. Plus, if you’re looking to avoid a meeting, you can send a private message to any team member all without leaving your desk. Slack will greatly reduce the amount of email you have to send, and can be a distraction-free way to have your team communicate with one another.
Over to You
What are your favorite tools for enhancing internal agency communication? How do you foster a communication environment where every team member feels heard?
About the Author
David Shiffman is Co-Founder and Brand Elevator at Brandamos, a social media agency. A creative strategist with over 10 years of experience developing marketing strategies and guiding business development. Shiffman has worked with companies such as Paramount Pictures, CK Mondavi and Flex Seal.