How to Facilitate Better Communication Across Your Firm
Effective communication is a crucial part of every workplace. Without it, misunderstandings and arguments will abound, resulting in a toxic work environment, bungled accounting workflow, and an irreparably damaged reputation. In fact, this particular quality can make or break your company’s success, as it affects everything from employee satisfaction to how clients perceive you.
Maintaining open, healthy communication in the office can help you convey important information, bringing you closer to your goals. With it, you can overcome internal barriers, challenging tasks, and inefficient processes.
Here are four ways to improve communication in your firm:
- Coach Your Managers
It takes a good leader to inspire competent employees, which means change starts with management. If your managers have strong communication skills, your staff will trust them more and perform better. According to an Inc report, communication is so crucial that 91 percent of employees believed that their leaders didn’t possess communication skills altogether.
With such alarming statistics, you’ll want to invest in training your managers to improve their communication skills through seminars, coaching, and even structured mentorship programs. Include communication skills into evaluations to assess how your managers are performing and who needs additional help. When you consider promoting employees for management positions, be sure to select those who possess soft and communication skills.
- Streamline Communication Channels
Investing in CPA practice management to help streamline communication channels is another great way to remove roadblocks to understanding each other. Although having numerous communication channels may be more flexible, the reality is that employees often struggle to keep up with monitoring messages across multiple platforms. They’ll feel more stressed about attending to every email, call, text, Slack message, and notification, preventing them from fulfilling their core task.
Instead, look into CPA firm workflow management, which can help you simplify communication channels and consolidate them in one place. Investing in new technology is often the solution to problems like communications, particularly when you scale back on platforms and designate a more all-encompassing one instead.
- Build Healthy Relationships
Another great way to foster effective communication in your firm is to build positive relationships with your team. People are more likely to cooperate better when they know each other beyond their roles, mainly when they’ve already established trust with one another. As a result, they’ll feel more comfortable seeking help or even discussing complex topics.
To do this, create collaboration opportunities between departments and encourage everyone to share their knowledge. You may want to plan team bonding activities, so everyone can socialize with each other and connect beyond their core work tasks. Once the synergy is there, the communication will flow better.
- Find the Root Cause of Communications Problems
Sometimes, communication issues stem from a problem in your structure. Harvard Business Review illustrated an excellent example: an organization welcomed employees with unclear job descriptions. In the early days, employees had no trouble navigating their work because they could easily ask their senior managers. However, once the company expanded, it became more difficult. There were constant misunderstandings and arguments. Meanwhile, the real problem was found in the vague job descriptions, which caused the confusion and chaos.
To avoid this, have your HR officers converse with employees, carry out surveys, and observe how they work. Sometimes, the issue is in the way people communicate with each other. Other times, other issues are at play, masking the actual cause.
Facilitating better communication across your firm is a crucial step towards achieving the success you’ve envisioned for you and your team. By practicing these four strategies, you’ll foster a communicative environment where team members are happy to help each other, voice their concerns, and feel more engaged in their work.
Financial Cents is an easy-to-use cloud-based CPA practice management solution that offers everything your firm needs to manage your staff, grow your business, and meet your deadlines. With our software, you can keep client work from falling through the cracks by creating checklists, monitoring staff progress, tracking time, and more. Try it for free today!