Due to their dispersed nature, remote companies are tasked with finding innovative ways to remain transparent and keep communication flowing throughout the business. When teammates and whole departments aren’t able to interact together in person, the way they communicate must adapt. But when communication breaks down, information silos can develop, leading to confusion and low morale.
In this way, it’s especially important for all-remote companies to keep team members connected and informed as much as possible. Below, eight members of Young Entrepreneur Council share the essential steps that all-remote companies can take to keep information silos from forming and instead keep communication flowing between departments and across the company.
Young Entrepreneur Council members share how to prevent information silos at remote companies.
Photos courtesy of the individual members.
1. Use Public Communication Channels
Implement public communication channels instead of private communication channels. It’s really easy to DM someone when you know they can answer your question. But when you put that in a public channel, it replicates the experience of saying something out loud in a physical office. Even in a conversation between two people, other people can overhear and may chime in with good ideas. If nothing else, it helps everyone stay up to date. Demos can also be very helpful. At Bounce, we have each team demo what they’ve done that week. That way, we can integrate new features and disseminate the information to everyone else. Both of these strategies are very effective to prevent information silos from forming. – Cody Candee, Bounce
2. Emphasize Transparency And Openness
For remote companies to keep information silos from forming, they need to emphasize transparency and openness. It’s crucial to cultivate a company culture that welcomes open communication and encourages employees to speak up and share their ideas. Only through communication can you ensure that departments are all on the same page so they can work together to achieve the best results possible. Reiterate through meetings and conference calls that you have an open-door policy and welcome employees in your office anytime. Be the first to let them know about what’s going on in the company to set an example and build trust. – Stephanie Wells, Formidable Forms
3. Adopt Tools That Help You Centralize Information
Adopt tools that allow you to get more things done instead of buying solutions for each individual department, team or office and make sure the ones you do use “talk” to each other. There is, of course, no software with which you can manage every single task. However, you will find solutions that will help different areas, departments or teams manage their daily duties, while keeping as much information as possible centralized, shared and accessible from one single platform. By doing this and integrating the apps you use, you can make sure to reduce the times you enter the same information. Instead, you will be sharing the information that has been already entered. This will eliminate data silos or reduce them to a minimum. – Riccardo Conte, Virtus Flow
4. Create A Trustworthy Work Environment
Use tools like Trello and/or Slack, and create a trustworthy work environment. My company is all-remote and works with people from different parts of the world, so our hours rarely coincide. However, all projects are public and open for comment. For example, each group uploads their work progress periodically on Trello and we all review each task and give our feedback. On the other hand, we have also developed enough trust to ask each other for help or give an honest opinion, so we all feel part of the same team even if it is divided into different groups. – Kevin Ryan Tao, NeuEve
5. Ensure Your Teams Are Working Together
Different teams will always naturally form some level of internal information silos, but by ensuring your teams work together, either at the stage of initial project planning or via regular interactions on Trello or Slack, you can keep communication flowing between all aspects of your business. Scheduling weekly or bimonthly meetings on these platforms where each team or employee can give an update or speak about where they are having hang-ups can help you to pinpoint trouble areas and work to smooth them out. Having your teams be made up of individuals from multiple departments can also help to keep everyone in contact and aware of what the others are doing. – Salvador Ordorica, The Spanish Group LLC
6. Hold Company-Wide Meetings And Reviews
Have a monthly meeting and review. Whether it’s through games or activities, find a way to review with your team to gauge if they understand what’s going on and if there are holes you need to fill in. It doesn’t have to be formal, but it has to be informative and engaging enough to make everyone speak with honesty. It’s not just about the free flow of incoming messages; it should also freely flow in terms of receiving messages. – Daisy Jing, Banish
7. Foster Communication Outside Of Work Topics
It’s important to foster communication outside of work topics to some degree. Getting people together and encouraging casual social interactions builds a sense of familiarity and trust within the organization. When people know each other better, it becomes easier to just reach out with a message and to ask for help. I suggest having casual monthly meetings and hosting company retreats depending on pandemic restrictions where you are. But make sure that you try to have events where people can talk about things other than work. It helps everyone when there’s more communication and familiarity. – Blair Williams, MemberPress
8. Create A Team Website
You can stop information silos from popping up by creating a company website for your team. Give all of your employees access to weekly memos, important company assets and communication channels. This strategy makes it easier for team members to work together, which can reduce friction and stop silos from forming. – John Brackett, Smash Balloon LLC
Source by www.forbes.com