For company-related information, the right amount of communication is key
We have two offices — one in Los Angeles, and the other in Romania — and we go to great lengths to keep both offices informed and in communication with each other, on both project/client, and company-related information.
The framework for our communication is formed with the need for a clear understanding of everyone’s roles and how these roles should work together. It’s important for all employees to be aware of what everyone else is doing, learn about each other’s tasks, and think holistically about projects.
There are a variety of communication methods that work for us. It’s quality, with the right amount of quantity. We host bi-weekly staff meetings in both LA and Romania — we eat, hang out, and chat about what’s going on at Xivic, and address any issues or accolades.
We talk about new projects and clients, celebrate birthdays, and introduce new hires, etc. We also send out company-wide emails when necessary — for example, updates on parking, health insurance, company activities (sushi-making class!), and other necessary items that need to come from our HR team.
It’s important to communicate directly in these e-mails; nothing too long, and nothing too short. I try to put myself in the shoes of my team that’s on the receiving end of the communique in an effort to make certain that the ask, direction, and information are clear. It’s also important to have a backup plan for communication, such as if an email is misconstrued, or worse yet, the internet goes down!
To achieve our goals, we use a variety of tools to assist in our collaborative efforts. Apart from email for simple day-to-day communication, we use Skype’s chat feature. For internal storage, we use Dropbox. For project management, as a tool that brings everything together, we use Active Collab, a web-based project management platform for task management, collaboration, time tracking, and invoicing.
Our team in Los Angeles is primarily made up of our strategists and executive leadership, and our Romanian office is where our development team resides. We’ve created a system where we are able to offer our clients 24-hour work. We work on strategy and next steps on any project in LA, set out our needs in Active Collab, and head to bed. Our team in Romania starts their work at midnight LA time, and when we get to the office the next day, the work is done and ready for delivery.
We see the benefits of our efforts in the variables and outputs of our employees. We’re constantly asking individuals what kind of output and feedback they’re getting and updating our plans based on what they have to say. Communication goes both ways. At the end of the day, we never underestimate the importance of strong and positive workplace culture, and that stems from trust and transparent communication.