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Finding ways to foster more dialogue at your Utah business

Being able to speak freely at a company — no matter one’s level of leadership or as a contributor — is one of the keys to a strong culture. Encouraging open and honest conversation is something that can contribute to the success of a business, while the opposite can cause more challenges.

Finding ways to encourage that kind of feedback becomes even more difficult when the employees or leaders are struggling financially. In a situation like the pandemic response, which presented countless roadblocks and even caused some businesses to shutter, this climate becomes even more difficult.

On the Utah Business website, there’s an article that addresses the link between financial woes and the company’s culture, and how that ties together stronger than some people may think, even if the company itself is doing well.

Opening dialogue at all levels

At the heart of any dialogue is some risk. For instance, a person’s financial situation can make them hesitant to open up. The Utah Business article was written by Nate Gardner, the Chief Customer Officer for the Utah company MX. He writes that the risk of losing more money may result in silence.

“The result is that the critical conversations, vital for keeping a healthy ethos, running an innovative operation, and delivering amazing customer experiences will likely be silenced,” Gardner writes. 

If there is dialogue, it also may just be one-way, with opinions and potential ideas being kept inside or aired between employees or leaders themselves, never properly filtering to the executive leaders.

Gardner offers some potential solutions to encourage communication between employees and leaders. He said it’s essential to create an environment where feedback is encouraged at every level by using regular communication channels, such as memos, department or staff meetings, email communications, or the company intranet, if available.

He also writes about the idea of transparency, a business buzzword that will likely never fall out of favor. Plus, it’s clearly in need, as businesses continue to blend remote and in-person work environments.

“Leaders should be willing to bring up moments and results that aren’t necessarily flattering,” Gardner writes. “People will see from example that it’s less risky to be direct than to not be direct.”

Making financial health accessible

To that end, it’s also a good idea to set employees up for success. This is the time to examine the compensation model, and to offer financial tools that may help employees achieve larger goals. For example, offering a 401(k) retirement plan with a match that encourages contribution will be a step forward, if that’s not currently offered.

Gardner also believes it’s important to not forget the other side of the “wellness” card. “Package this with health and physical wellness benefits — consider implementing a workplace financial wellness program or financial health days,” he writes.

Limiting stress in general is a good move to make. As Gardner points out, a majority of Americans are still living paycheck to paycheck, and living in survival mode could be a stressor that leads to too much silence in the workplace.

That’s why it’s critical to establish the right culture where it’s acceptable to speak up no matter what. Take this a step further by offering ways to help with both financial and physical health. These programs go a long way in making a workplace stronger, especially as the business climate continues to change.

“This will provide individuals with a strong personal foundation from which they will have greater courage to practice objectivity in discourse organization-wide,” Gardner writes.

Treasury Management program helps Utah businesses

Looking objectively at tools to further help your business is also a great for any business on an upward trajectory. To that end, First Utah Bank can help small businesses with a few of the day-to-day financial details that take place. As part of our Treasury Management program, you can use our real-time business internet banking tools to manage company cash. As part of it, you’ll be able to see transactions through the requirement of dual control for account and wire transfers, ACH transactions, and remote deposits. You can also initiate outgoing wire transfer and use ACH Origination Services for services such as accounts receivable, payroll and vendor payments. ACH Origination also can help you make transfers between your own accounts at different financial institutions.

The other perks of Treasury Management include:

  • Make deposits remotely using Remote Deposit Capture
  • Export transactions into Quickbooks Direct Connect, Quicken or other programs
  • Protect against check fraud with Positive Pay
  • Grant controlled access of the business accounts to your employees

Consider our services to help you run your small business safely and efficiently, no matter what the future brings. To learn more about how we can help, go to our website or call First Utah Bank at 801-308-2265.