Communication at the heart of it all
Since the start of us writing this blog we have gone from talking about how we had to buy pizzas for friends and family to bribe them for painting during the first fit out to where we are now, with 41 staff working across our four lovely shops and a dedicated team delivering the best coffee education possible within our Artisan Coffee School. This transition has led to some big changes, with one aspect being communication. When we started it was all relatively straightforward as Magda and I could communicate about the shops’ performance by simply talking to each other on the way home from work.
Now that we have shop managers, seniors and our teams in place throughout multiple locations, the one thing we have found important to build is a team that has communication at the heart of it. In many ways I think one of the reasons we were successful in the beginning was down to the way Magda and I communicated with our team, our customers, our suppliers and of course each other. As we have grown the question has now become – how can we create that same level of communication throughout our new teams.
To be honest this has been a hard task and at times we think the importance of great communication may have been lost as we developed the business and it took us a while to notice and understand the importance of this. One of the reasons for this is that whilst we were still communicating as we would like others to; we simply didn’t notice that the level and quality of communication might have dropped throughout other areas within the business.
We had to learn that a big part of our job was to almost be the facilitator of communication within Artisan and to train our teams to be amazing communicators and guide them in what a powerful tool it can be. This is no easy task and it has taken time and a lot of small steps, some including structures such as monthly team meetings, daily ‘campfire’ chats, end of day reporting etc.; and other times it has meant one on one mentoring with goal setting and clear demonstrations on what a difference being a good communicator can make. This realisation has allowed Artisan and the Artisan teams to bring back great communication and we are now seeing the benefits as our teams not only use it for the smooth running of their shops but also as a beautiful way to motivate those around them.