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16 May 2022

Communication is key


Jack Raistrick

Union Realtime

When it comes to establishing a successful self-storage business, communication is crucial. To obtain the greatest outcomes for your organisation, as operators or managers, you must be able to interact with clients, partners, and staff. The better you communicate your objectives and expectations; the more likely your team will grasp what they must accomplish to complete the task. Email, phone calls, messages, and video chat are all communication methods that may help make interactions simpler and provide you with more alternatives for engaging with your staff and consumers - not forgetting that communication is a two-way street. You should also be able to listen to feedback and take it on board to make changes where required.

Good communication doesn’t just make people feel valued but can also help build trust between employees and management. A lack of communication will often lead to feelings of uncertainty and anxiety, which can have a knock-on effect on productivity. Being transparent with your employees will help create stronger team morale, as your team will feel like they can trust you as you are demonstrating key skills essential to management.

What are the best ways to improve communication with your employees?

Create a group chat -

Creating a group chat for all your employees on a digital platform such as Slack will allow you to communicate with them in real-time. It will also allow employees who are not on the phone or in-person at the same time as you an opportunity to contribute and provide feedback. Having a group chat offers a platform for all employees to engage with one another and creates a one-team mentality, as all managers and employees will be in the same group chat. Another benefit of a group chat is that it is a less formal communication tool; as a consequence, employees will feel more relaxed and want to join more in conversations. It is also a tool that allows everyone in the company to communicate. The flexibility of a group chat is also advantageous. Members can discuss a wide range of issues. Managers can also provide fast, brief updates on business news or a detailed analysis of recent industry news.

Schedule weekly meetings -

Weekly meetings with your entire team are an excellent opportunity to communicate with all of your staff simultaneously. Weekly meetings ensure that everyone is on the same page regarding corporate goals, news, and direction. Having a weekly meeting where individuals may attend in person allows you to see their body language reactions as they debate various issues. This will enable you to grasp your employee's thoughts better. A team meeting also allows your employees to interact and communicate with colleagues they may not see daily in their respective job positions, resulting in a stronger team relationship.

Schedule one-to-ones -

Weekly meetings are fantastic for sharing company news, but one-on-one sessions with your staff allow you to listen to them privately. Allowing you to give a private space where employees may express worries or tension without their coworkers knowing or feeling judged. They're also an opportunity to learn more about that person's aspirations, how they want to advance within the organisation, and how you can help them.

Digital communication tools -

There are several ways to communicate with employees that don’t include face-to-face interaction. If you manage a remote team or have employees in different locations, digital communication tools like Slack or Zoom are excellent for holding video or audio calls. These communication tools are also helpful for sharing documents and files, which can be edited and commented on in real-time.

Be approachable -

Demonstrating that you are an approachable manager will allow your employees to have a more open dialogue with you. Employees are less likely to express concerns about their job or company if they don't feel like the manager will listen and offer tangible solutions. For example, an employee may be unhappy because of how many hours they work per week but won't speak up for fear that it'll make them seem unprofessional or that they'll be fired. As a manager, your employees must see you as approachable otherwise communication lines between them and you will deteriorate, causing your staff to feel isolated and alone. If you have an office, keep your door open, this will create the impression that you are welcome to visitors. Checking in on your employees is also vital for proving that you are approachable; ask them how their day was and what they did over the weekend; asking them questions like these makes them feel welcome and demonstrates that you care as a manager.

Communication is key in any environment. Whether you are managing a multinational company, self-storage facility or the local pub on your side of town, communication can make or break your employees and team morale.

How can you improve communication with your customers?

Social Media -

As mentioned in previous posts, the power of social media is endless, and one way to utilise it effectively is that you can use it to communicate with your clients. An example of this is posting a photo of your upgraded units on one of your social media platforms. It also demonstrates transparency which builds trust between yourselves and your customer base. Social media allows customers to ask you questions directly and provides an opportunity for customers to interact with your posts regarding the latest company news and updates.

Ask for Feedback-

Asking customers or regular visitors for feedback on how their storage experience went can be beneficial for all involved. Customer feedback helps you improve and shows that you care about them as customers and want to learn how to increase the likelihood of them returning. Customers will feel valued and appreciated if you ask them how you can improve their experience, and they will also be more likely to return or recommend you to others.

Be easily accessible -

Make yourself available and contactable. Customers may quickly contact you via several means. A consumer, for example, does not want to remain on hold for what feels like an eternity on the phone; instead, they want to pick up the phone and contact you or your team directly, not through a call centre. Create a separate email account for client inquiries; this gives a dedicated avenue for answering any questions.

Send regular emails-

Sending customers regular emails regarding updates and company news will help keep them up to date with your business and service. Emails are a communication tool which is flexible enough to suit any customer's interest, they can contain photos or videos of your business, for example, as well as short updates or in-depth paragraphs. The contents of the email is up to you, but make sure it's relevant and valuable to the customer. You can also use email to gather feedback or opinions from customers on your service to improve areas that are less desirable for them.

Final thoughts

Effective communication is an integral part of running a successful self storage operation. The way you communicate with your employees and customers can make or break the success of your business, which is why it's so vital to put in the time and effort to come up with effective strategies that will work for everyone involved. Communication is essential to a successful business - it’s how you can share information, manage expectations and collaborate as a team.

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