4 Best Communication Practices Startups Shouldn’t Ignore

November 3, 2021

Excellent internal communications can help startups build better products and services, propel growth, and add to a company’s efficiency. Startups often spend time trying to find alternatives to Slack and alternatives for Monday, but the key is to master the tools at your disposal.

Before getting started and spending time optimizing your communications, it’s important to spend time finding the right tools for your startup.

Tools to Communicate Among Employees

What tools do you need to run your team efficiently? There are a lot of tools that allow for in-depth collaboration, project management, and organization of your day, week, and month. A few of the main tools and there are many more, include:

  • Slack: Channels make Slack a powerful tool that can connect teams, freelancers, and other contractors in one place. With the built-in channels, it’s possible to ask questions, share updates, and keep on track of projects. Share files, connect with face-to-face calls and collaborate with partners.
  • Monday.com: One of the leading Slack alternatives, Monday.com allows projects and pipelines to be filled. Analyze performance, manage teams on one central platform, and do it all remotely. The platform offers automation, data visualization, insights, reporting, and dozens of other powerful tools.
  • Trello: Another powerful tool that is less about communication and more about cards and commenting. Simple yet powerful, this is one of the alternatives to Slack that you can start using today.
  • Tira: A new platform that is launching in September 2020 is a great place for communication. It involves a variety of apps including project management, accounting, and HR to manage daily tasks and activities. Catered specifically for startups and entrepreneurs.

There are dozens of alternatives to Trello and all of the tools listed above. You’ll find tools that go more in-depth with advanced reporting, CRM, and collaboration tools.

Once you’ve chosen the tool(s) you plan on using; it’s time to focus on the best communication practices to leverage these tools to their full potential.

1. Balance Communication When Using Technology

Slack is a great tool, but it has its limits, too. As companies begin to grow and new employees are added to the team, it takes one person not to use your communication tools properly for issues to arise.

Balance your different forms of communication when updates or workflows aren’t working properly for your team.

This may mean:

  • Introducing team leaders to stay on top of all employees
  • Integrating new tools that fill in the gaps of the tools you’re already using

A one-size-fits-all tool may work well for your business, but when it doesn’t, you may need to rely on custom solutions or multiple solutions.

2. Maintain the Human Element

The human connection can help get work done faster and clear up issues rapidly. If your team is entirely remote, you may not be able to have face-to-face meetings, but there is Zoom, Skype, and other video conferencing tools that can help.

Regular meetings work well and should be scheduled into the startup’s plan.

If you can’t have these face-to-face meetings, it may be beneficial to send out surveys to encourage discussion and better improve the workplace environment.

3. Open “Door” Policy

Startups can be fiercely competitive, with everyone trying to shine above their peers. It’s a great environment to work in, but it can also lead to internal struggles. Employees may not be “heard” by managers, or their concerns may be overlooked.

An “open-door policy” allows employees to:

  • Raise questions
  • Raise concerns

The policy should never involve any punishment for the employee and can make teams much stronger. An open-door policy is often used for internal communication in an office, but startups are also incorporating this policy virtually.

Allow your employees to be an integral part of the team and encourage conversations through these types of policies.

4. Avoid Using a Negative Tone

Startups need to keep all employees on track to meet the company milestones, but it isn’t easy to remain positive at all times. It’s important to try and be positive and upbeat to keep employees motivated.

Avoid using a negative tone when possible.

Tips that can help you make your communication positive include:

  • Maintain professionalism
  • Don’t pin the blame on a person.
  • Use positive tones even when conveying bad news.
  • Inject bad news in the middle of a conversation
  • Focus on solutions rather than explanations

It’s important to read messages over before hitting send. If you’re able to maintain a positive, upbeat tone, you’ll keep teams from internal arguments and encourage employees to work on solutions rather than dwell on problems.