In the modern business world, it’s no secret that accessing information and communicating with fellow employees is simpler than ever before. Thanks to advances in technology, your staff can easily communicate with one another even when they aren’t in the same place at the same time. However, in order to make their communication as effective as possible, you’ll need uniform processes and tools to increase productivity in the workplace. The good news is that there are plenty of communication tips and tools to choose from, and we’ve outlined some of the most effective ways to streamline your business dialogue. The bottom line is that lackluster communication is something your company simply can’t afford to continue dealing with, and these tips can help your team take their communication to the next level. Here are some strategies to implement:
Send an internal company newsletter
To keep all employees in the know, compile and distribute a monthly company newsletter. Use this newsletter as an outlet for transparency, where you summarize important news and updates. Inform your employees about the progress of sales goals, as well as press your business receives, new hires and whatever else you feel is helpful for the entire company to know. Keep your newsletter concise by adding a table of contents and section off headlines by department or interest.
Streamline phone calls with VoIP
Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) allows businesses to make phone calls over the internet rather than installing traditional phone lines. The benefits of utilizing VoIP include cheap prices, ability to scale with a growing company and using tools such as virtual receptionists in one place. If you use VoIP rather than traditional phone lines, you can take business calls from anywhere you have a wifi connection, allowing your employees to work from home or remote locations without complications.
Use one platform for all chats
Chat tools raise the ability for employees to converse in real-time, which increases productivity and provides a place where employees can feel comfortable asking questions and sharing ideas. The casual feel of chat can not only minimize the number of formal emails you receive daily, but also foster a more personal relationship. One popular option is Slack, which allows conversations to be separated by team, department, project or whatever suits your personal needs. Slack encourages cross-functional collaboration by allowing you to sync your Google Calendar and other tools to stay organized.
Manage projects from one dashboard
Project management tools are essential to keeping all communication and updates in one place. Utilize easy-to-use tools such as Asana and Trello to manage workflow easily and efficiently. With tools like these, you can create ‘to-do’ lists, assign tasks to team members, upload files and leave comments to keep track of progress easily. These tools will allow you to save time and effort by minimizing the amount of chasing-down information you’d have to do otherwise.
Consolidate your notes
Encourage your employees to make the switch from taking notes of traditional paper to electronic options instead. Digital note-taking tools allow workers to always take legible, quick notes and keep them in one unified space. These tools allow you to consolidate notes between multiple devices as well, giving you the flexibility to jot notes down after hours or on the go without the risk of misplacing them. Another added benefit with note-taking platforms is the ability to sync with other users, inviting them to collaborate on particular notebooks or pages to share their input.
Collaborate on documents
Paperwork can be a tedious aspect of any business, and in the digital age, it’s a hassle to rely on paper for contracts, proposals, and quotes. To simplify these processes, consider using a document management software instead. With these tools, you can avoid printing, scanning and mailing documents. Instead, creating, sending, tracking and signing documents is handled digitally in one place. This way, you can spend less time trying to navigate multiple tools and focus more energy on completing other important business tasks.
Connect with your audience
If you are in the business of sending mass emails, your generic email service provider can only do so much. Instead, you’ll need a marketing automation tool, such as MailChimp, to easier connect with your email list. Automation tools allow you to create professional-looking emails, send them to your contacts and then track your campaigns as well. They also host the option to set up automated emails every X amount of time, which can save you the hassle of hitting ‘send’.
Create a glossary
There’s no denying that every company develops its own slang or shared understanding, which is often overwhelming and confusing for new hires and outsiders. To help mitigate this confusion, consider devising a company glossary including jargon and other frequently used words for everyone to reference. Distribute these glossaries to any new clients, employees or partners to make them feel included and up to speed.
Utilize video chat
Sometimes, typing things out is more difficult than just speaking to your colleague. However, this can be made difficult if you work with employees in different locations so you can’t just walk up to their desk or workspace. When this is the case, get in touch with your colleagues face-to-face via video conferencing tools. Not only will you be able to articulate your message better, but you’ll also be able to gauge the other person’s reaction by seeing nonverbal cues. This can alleviate confusion, feelings of resentment and extra time spent explaining your initial request.
Implementing team communication tools into your business’ everyday processes can elevate productivity, streamline workflows and allow for instantaneous collaboration no matter where your employees work from. Follow any number of these tips above to both improve and empower your team to reach the level of teamwork that translates to success.