As a young startup, Digitex Futures is learning fast. One of the hardest things to manage as the company grows is our internal communication. Yet, good communication is at the core of any successful business. Making sure that all team members regardless of geography or position are on the same page and that expectations are communicated effectively isn’t easy. It takes effort, coordination, and some learning from our mistakes.
Digitex has certainly had its ups and downs. Since I’ve been with the company, I’ve had the pleasure of working with some of the most talented, hard-working, ambitious, and passionate people I’ve ever met. And we’re all united by one common goal: seeing Digitex succeed.
It has been extremely hard to weather the fall-out from the launch delays and know that we have let our community down. It’s also been disappointing to see that our occasional poor communications have caused problems both internally and externally.
However, despite losing some of the faith of the community and finding the path to success far rockier than we thought, we’re more determined and united than ever. I’ve stepped into a full-time role as Director of Communications to do my very best to ensure this company succeeds.
Adam is a true visionary and despite all the setbacks along the way, he has never lost his grit determination or faith. After such a turbulent few months, I couldn’t be happier that SmartDec will be in control of the development and firmly believe that Digitex will be extraordinary in this space.
Internal Communication Is Key
Go back a few years to the traditional office and you’d almost always have the occasional politics. But, at least when you were having a discussion, you could see people’s faces and hear their tone of voice. When you’re working in a decentralized team across different time zones, that becomes much harder to control.
Communications (especially non-verbal) can easily be misconstrued when using a channel like Slack or Skype. Sometimes, the intent of the message fails to come over correctly in the written text. On other occasions, the recipient may miss some crucial instructions simply because they didn’t see them.
Miscommunication can cause mistrust, confusion, and frustration. Worse still, it can lead to the wrong action being taken. As a fast-growing team, we’ve experienced all these problems and understand how important it is that our internal communications are improved.
That doesn’t mean that everyone in the team has to start talking more! In fact, it’s not even as much about speaking as it is about listening–and having certain procedures and processes in place.
According to a study by Gartner, as much as 70 percent of business errors are caused by poor communications. This goes to highlight the importance of getting things right when it comes to knowing what’s what among the team.
Effective internal communications lead to better relationships with clients, investors, community members, as well as happier employees, and a more productive team.
How We Plan to Communicate Effectively at Digitex
Our own internal communication issues between teams at Digitex have been thrust into the public eye this year. We had to learn the hard way that for our company to move forward efficiently, all departments must be connected and in constant, transparent communication. They should never operate in silos, whereby development doesn’t know what marketing is doing, or marketing is left out of the loop on project progress.
Working in different time zones adds a layer of complexity, but that doesn’t mean that good communication can’t be reached. At Digitex, we’re on a mission to improve and to make sure there’s no longer any disconnect between teams, no misunderstandings between different members, and that everyone is kept in the loop. That’s why we’re busy establishing protocols for communications as our team expands.
We’ve always held team calls every week. It’s the perfect occasion for everyone to hear the latest developments, to raise any concerns or questions, and to just check in with the rest of the team. These calls are good for morale, for clearing the air, and for establishing a feedback loop. But, on their own, they aren’t enough in such a fast-paced environment.
However, establishing more frequent calls with staff in different continents is impractical, especially as we grow. So, we’re using productivity tools to make sure that everyone has a go-to place to see the status of any project at a glance. They can also follow set checklists and no task is executed without each point being completed.
Moreover, rather than contacting a team member in the early hours of their morning, they can simply consult their Slack channel or check the Trello board when they’re next on shift to see planned content, campaigns, and report statuses.
By implementing these tools, upper management can understand the work that’s going on without having to guess the status of a project. It also allows everyone to share their ideas and thoughts as we move forward.
Digitex Is Committed to Our Team and Our Community
We’re the first to admit that we aren’t perfect. And as we grow as a team, it takes time to get everything right. However, now that the fundamentals are in place, we have a much better base to scale from. We can be more productive, more accountable, more efficient, and by default, make sure that our external communications are on point.
As we move forward with SmartDec and document the development process, having solid internal communications in place will be key. We have restructured our core team so that everyone understands their roles better and that the rest of the company also knows what each team member is doing. This will help us to become more efficient, reduce the chance of mistakes, ensure that we follow procedures, and mitigate any possible conflict.
Thanks to everyone who has stuck with us along the way and is continuing on our journey. And thanks so much to the team who makes Digitex as special as it is.