How to pimp your communication in a fast-growing business
Everything we do at Planday is about making things easier — for our customers and for us internally. We know effective communication is at the heart of it all, so Planday spends a lot of time working to make this happen.
Whether you’re a restaurant manager scheduling staff for the weekend or a care home manager who is balancing people with the right training in the right place 24/7 to care for your patients, Planday has your communication covered — in a simple, all-in-one solution.
But making sure people get the right information to make things easier isn’t just something our platform powers, it’s an essential part of life at Planday. We caught up with Jacob Pyndt, Planday’s Operations Director, to see how he works to uncomplicate communication across all our offices around the globe, and how you might be able to do so too.
Communication is key, no matter your business’ size
“Whether you’re a small hospitality business or a big care home with hundreds of employees, clear and effective communication is a vital part of any successful organisation,” Jacob says.
“It allows managers to better plan and organise their people and departments — not waste time on small tasks like shift swaps — so they can focus on getting the best-qualified people into the right roles instead.
“We know these are tasks that managers and employers have to deal with every single day. And we know that making it all work starts with simple and clear communication.
Jacob says better communication not only motivates and retains staff, it helps businesses achieve their goals.
“No matter what your business does or how many employees you have, we all want to motivate staff and retain them for as long as possible. This is something we are very passionate about at Planday — promoting openness, transparency and a free-flow of ideas between people,” Jacob says.
“This means feedback and ideas from across our company — from people in different roles with different experiences — is listened to and valued as we move into the future.
“We know younger workers like Millennials are often staying at one job for two years at most. So motivating employees and helping them see how their efforts contribute to the company as a whole is more important than ever.
“Regular, transparent communication between management, employees and customers makes sure everyone is on the same page about what is happening and helps align everyone to the same vision.
“It also means we get the best ideas — they can come from anywhere, not just top-down.”
How does Planday power its people?
“Planday is a global company. For that reason, communication between our staff around the world can be challenging. We acknowledge that we haven’t quite hit the bullseye yet, but we are constantly striving to improve our internal, company-wide communications every day,” Jacob says.
So how does communication work in a company that grows and scales with so many employees in many different countries? Jacob says the key is in the routines or rituals you set.
“We want to communicate with both our customers and our employees around the globe with ease. This can’t be done with informal chats, emails and phone calls alone. It requires routine communication,” Jacob says.
“To meet this challenge, Planday first asked ourselves, ‘What is it we want to communicate?’ Keeping focused on what we want to say, why we are saying it and to whom — and making that count — is what can help make our communications effective and engaging.
“We we want our stakeholders to be aware of key messages related to the company, as well as strategic customer and employee information. We also want to give both our customers and our staff a sense of their power within the company.
“By establishing certain routines, we have found an effective way of delivering that information. It’s something you put in the calendar and the company can then plan around as a good way of getting our message out to the people who need to hear it — and getting their feedback on it too.
“We have two key ways of uncomplicating communication. The newest one, which we are very excited about, empowers people within the company to engage customers and help us hear the messages we need to from different industries in different parts of the world.
Communication Champions initiative (CommsChamps)
Jacob says Planday is pioneering CommsChamps — an exciting new communication initiative rolling out soon.
“The purpose of CommsChamps is employee and customer engagement,” Jacob says.
“Every part of our business needs to focus on who we are here to serve — our customers. The CommsChamps’ program goal is to appoint communication ambassadors in each team that are representative of our different units and geographic operating regions.
“These ambassadors then act to report on problems or issues throughout the business, feeding the information back to our CommsChamps group and the wider team so we can immediately mobilise the resources and people we need to solve them.
“Just as strong and consistent feedback loops help our developers grow and adapt the Planday platform to our customers’ needs, so will the more immediate feedback to the company from each market and industry be fed back through our new CommsChamps.”
While Planday is pioneering a better communication through CommsChamps, Jacob says — even in the fast-paced world of SaaS — sometimes an old-fashioned and reliable ‘town hall’ meeting is exactly what the company needs to make sure everyone knows what’s going on.
“These are company-wide meetings during which every Planday office from around the globe calls in to participate — on the first Friday of every month. It’s always in the calendar and teams will plan around it to make sure they are there.
“In the past, we had all of the various Planday departments giving reports and updates. But we found that approach didn’t quite work. Departments would often report on minor details of their work that were not necessarily relevant to the entire team. When you bombard people with information, especially when much of it is irrelevant to their jobs, they just begin to tune out. I think that’s just human nature!
“Now, that’s where the more regular and direct daily stand-ups of individual teams are more effective. They get the specific and detailed information people need to do their jobs to the right people quickly.
“This then means we focus our Town Halls on two key topics: our customers and our employees. Like our customers, we are a company that is powered by people. The way we build our platform is an extension of the way we build our own teams and business — with open feedback, transparency and clear communication.”
Jacob says as a software business that serves so many other businesses, Planday has a huge impact on the professional lives of thousands of people.
“Every part of Planday strives to make a real difference to the people who use our platform. So we want to show a clear connection between what our employees do and what the customers feel. To do this effectively, we want to show that to our people — and let them see how what they do helps the customers they serve.
“We will sometimes share a customer’s story or invite them in to learn about the impact Planday has had in their lives and businesses. This can be a very powerful thing and helps establish an emotional connection between Planday and the customers we serve.”
What does the future for communications look like at Planday?
As a SaaS company, Jacob says Planday is always open to new ideas and ventures which make communications simpler across the globe.
“In the near future, we hope to make these initiatives even better than they are today. We are always looking to try new things to keep communication between us as a company, our customers and our employees as efficient and effective as possible — with new integrations and initiatives. We want to continually improve both our informal communication and global, company-wide engagement,” Jacob says.
“Our communication is already structured into various human-centric routines — like the Town Hall meetings and CommsChamps. We’d like to tier those routines even more than they are today, to ensure we communicate relevant and clear information transparently with all stakeholders and customers, throughout our many markets and offices around the world.
“We are also planning to expand our communications through mentoring, reverse mentoring — to keep communication two-way, as well as using our intranet to so Planday people know about the company, its values, goals and aspirations now and into the future.”
Want to see how Planday helps make communication with your employees easier? Register for your demo here.
All images by Unsplash