Simple Strategies for Keeping Your Business on the Same Page
As your business grows, it becomes more and more challenging to keep everyone on the same page. More people, products, services, and customers mean more overhead, complexities, and processes. But with the right plan, you can keep your business locked in and focused on the same outcomes.
The Importance of Being on the Same Page
In a study of more than 101 teams and their team members, researchers found that the perception of whether the team agrees on ways of working (such as how to prioritize tasks and deadlines), the division of labor, overall team objectives, and communication is directly correlated to the team’s overall feeling of “potency” and confidence.
“When we feel we’re on the same page, we feel more potent and are more motivated to put in extra effort, likely because it seems more destined to translate into real results,” the study explains. “And the more effort produced by shared understanding, the more managers believed their teams were successful in meeting their goals.”
When your team is on the same page – meaning everyone feels like they’re informed about the big picture and know what role they play in accomplishing overall objectives – people feel more on top of their work.
They’re also much more apt to ask questions, seek out assistance, or contribute valuable ideas to the organization. As a result, workplace culture is stronger, job satisfaction increases, and employee turnover is dramatically lower.
Tips for Keeping Your Team Organized and On Track
Understanding the importance of being on the same page is one thing. Actually getting your team organized and on track is another. Here are several helpful tips for bringing your team into alignment:
Set Proper Expectations
Saying you want your team to be “on the same page” is sort of vague. Make sure you understand precisely what you’re reaching for, and then communicate it to your team in a clear and succinct manner. (This usually means setting measurable goals.)
If you want your team to be transparent, explain what transparency looks like. If there are specific communication objectives you expect to be met with any new project, make these clear.
Flatten Your Hierarchy
Tall organizational hierarchies (meaning lots of layers from the top to the bottom) tend to have much less efficient communication and transparency. For something to work its way up to the top (or back down), there are multiple hand-offs between employees, managers, department heads, and those in the executive suite. Flat organizational hierarchies are much more conducive to quick communication and sharing ideas.
While easier said than done, an emphasis on flattening your hierarchy will serve you well in the long run. The goal isn’t to strip people of titles or responsibilities, but rather to make it easier for everyone to know what’s going on at any given point in time.
Make Information Accessible
Every organization operates slightly differently. However, it doesn’t matter your size or industry, you need to find a way to make information accessible throughout your organization. This usually comes down to integrating the right tools and applications into your tech stack.
For example, if you’re a business lender, using advanced loan origination software can help you kiss complex processes goodbye and keep everyone on the same page by connecting each touchpoint from start to finish.
If you run an ecommerce company where all of your employees work remotely, integrating a social intranet into your business will help people feel connected, despite the physical separation.
Do some research on different tools in the marketplace and determine if there are solutions that could help your team become better aligned.
Hold Daily Standup Meetings
A standup meeting (also known as a “huddle”) is a short meeting within a small team that’s held on foot. (Yes, everyone literally stands up.) This prevents people from getting comfortable. It sends a message that the meeting will be quick, focused, and actionable.
Standup meetings are best held at the beginning and/or end of the day. They should set clear expectations and give each member of the meeting action items they need to address before the next standup meeting.
A good standup meeting can eliminate dozens of back-and-forth emails, texts, and Slack messages. It’s basically a 15-minute hack for quickly getting your team on the same page.
Adding it All Up
When you have a small team of three, five, or even 10 people, it’s fairly easy to keep everyone on the same page. But as your team grows, it gets much more difficult. That’s why it’s important to instill these principles and techniques as early as you can. Not only will they work now, but they’re totally scalable.