10 Ways to Effectively Communicate With Your Pet Sitting and Dog Walking Team
Finding that sweet spot in communicating with your team is essential to your pet sitting business growth. Building a team of sitters that trust you and that you can trust working with your managerial team is a top goal.
Here are ten tips on how to do this effectively.
#1 Conduct monthly video conferences.
My managers run these meetings for me via Zoom. We discuss what is going on in the business, what worked well, what slipped through the cracks, and what we can improve on. We also take the opportunity to answer any questions and get any feedback.
For those who can not make the meeting, the video is emailed to them and posted in our team Facebook group.
You can use a Facebook group to communicate regularly. You can post tips and tricks, things to remember, policies and procedures, report the need for a last-minute sitter, etc. This Facebook group is proven invaluable for bringing everyone together in one location, and you can quickly get a message out.
#2 Send regular monthly newsletters.
For those sitters that can not make the meeting, you can not trust all of them to watch the video. A newsletter is a great way to get any messages across.
A newsletter can be a letter letting them now, “Hey, this is what’s going on. This is what’s new with you.”
Enumerate all the things you would discuss in the video conference.
#3 Use Slack for internal communications.
Slack is an excellent tool to communicate effectively with your management team. Slack is searchable, so if you’re looking for something you want to discuss, you can use its search bar to find what you are looking for.
#4 Have regular check-in meetings and surveys where you encourage feedback.
Whatever time period you decide, you’re going to want to send out a survey. Ask your sitters, “How is it going? Do you have too many clients? Would you like some more clients? What would you like to be different about the position? How much longer can you see working for the company?”
You’re trying to get ahead of the game. You want to make sure you are keeping in touch with them. The last thing you want is a sitter who’s unhappy, quitting, leaving you with clients who don’t have coverage.
These regular check-in meetings and surveys help you deal with that. Don’t forget to encourage feedback, letting them that you are open to hearing what they have to say and that you’re willing to make changes.
Communicate your boundaries too.
“Hey, I only want to work mid-days, Mondays, and Fridays.”
That’s where you will discuss the job description, and say, “You were hired from Monday through Friday, 11:00 AM to 3:00 PM. So, unfortunately, that is outside of the position that was offered.”
It goes both ways. But being able to communicate about it, especially now, when we have Zoom and don’t have to meet, it’s invaluable.
#5 Celebrate their great work and express your appreciation.
If somebody goes above and beyond for you, show them your appreciation. Send them a card in the mail, or gift cards, or an email.
#6 Build comfort in talking about what is not working.
There was a time in my business when I was fearful of expressing things that I was unhappy about. I still struggle with that a little bit, but I’ve gotten much better.
You can’t be fearful of expressing things that you want in your business. You are the owner of the business. I’m here to remind you and remind myself that you have every right to express when you are unhappy about something.
#7 Create boundaries with methods and timing of communication.
Having people consistently go to you to fix their problems and communicate with you at all hours of the day is unacceptable.
Nobody should text you at midnight saying, “I am locked out of a house.”
What are you going to do at midnight if they are locked out of a house? They need to be trained and trusted to be able to handle a situation. They should know what your protocol is, to begin with, before they even go out into the field.
So it would be best if you created those boundaries with them, letting them know the best way to communicate with you, how you want to be communicated with, and between what hours.
#8 Respond to every team member’s email within 24 hours.
Letting emails sit in your inbox never has worked out well. Trying to communicate as quickly as possible is a great tip.
#9 Acknowledge special moments in their lives.
When people who for you and are having special moments in their lives, you want to celebrate with them and let them know that you care.
You can use sendoutcards.com, an easy way to send a greeting card and any gifts or gift cards.
#10 Make internal documents and knowledge easily accessible.
Once you have everything broken down into individual SOPs, you can easily share it with your team.
“Colleen, I don’t know how to send an email in Infusionsoft.”
“Okay, this is how you do it.” And you click the link, and you copy and send the link to your team via Slack, maybe.
And then they’re able to go ahead and follow the SOP. You can also include video links in those SOPs, and you are off to the races.
I hope these tips are helpful to you. You can also go to my YouTube channel where I’ve got tons of videos over there to help you build your pet sitting business. Or you can join our free Facebook group at petnannycoachcommunity.com. Don’t forget to say hi.
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