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Any business that is open to the public seven days a week, twelve hours a day (more?) is bound to run into some communication issues.

No manager is accessible to employees, or customers, seven days a week, twelve hours a day. This could create problems if communication channels are not properly set up.

Here are some steps to follow in setting up good lines of communication in a business where people work many different shifts:

Issue a weekly newsletter to all employees and place the newsletter in a ‘mailbox’ with the employees’ name on it. The newsletter should include all items of importance and interest to employees.

Buy a notebook and ensure that all management personnel are instructed to note any communication with customers/employees that requires any follow up whatsoever.

Ensure that dates, times and details of conversations are recorded in this notebook. Each member of the management team must check this book before starting their shift so that they are up to speed the moment they start work.

Advise all staff that open communication is a must in their workplace. Make sure they understand the value of information sharing. The more anyone knows about their business the more successful they will be.

Be sure to ask questions anytime communication ‘falls through the cracks’. This is not something that can be ignored. Good communication between management and team members is a major part of the ongoing success of your business.

Customers should never be witness to a communication breakdown. There is absolutely no reason for them to be involved in the inner workings of your store/restaurant. All of your team members - both management and staff - must be able to provide the customer with what they need when they need it. It is absolutely unacceptable to tell a customer to come back when the manager is in. Employees must be empowered to make decisions when called upon to do so.

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