Whether you’re running a small business or a big enterprise, fostering and streamlining communication amongst your staff is critical to success. No company can survive over time if workers do not communicate with each other effectively – and our reliance on electronic communication can mean that even more important stuff can fall through the cracks.
Missing deadlines, disjointed meetings, misunderstandings and wasted time can all add up to a huge mess. However (luckily), all of this is avoidable if you take the time to improve your team’s electronic communications — and there is plenty of great technology out there that can help. Here are some of the best ways you can ensure electronics are helping – not hurting – your communications this year.
Cut down on emails
Email is one of the oldest forms of electronic communications used by businesses, but that doesn’t mean it is most effective. Emails are sent one by one and, though they can be linked in chains, most platforms make it sort of annoying to organize them and keep track of which ones you’ve addressed, which are still pending, etc. Not to mention that constantly checking email can be a huge waste of time. (In fact, studies have shown that 23% of the average workday is wasted going through emails). Instead of totally relying on email, have your team try out a task management platform like Asana, Basecamp, Trello or Teamwork. This kind of software lets you create tasks and then message back and forth within the platform so that all communication is transparent and linked to a certain job – which minimizes the chances of becoming distracted by checking one’s inbox.
If you’re not already on Slack, now is the time to sign up! It’s a free, real-time communication app that your team can use to message each other. It makes it super easy to create channels for different projects, topics, teams, etc. as well as share files, integrate with other apps and more. It’s a great way to get everyone talking in the same “room” to alleviate confusion and clutter.
Create a Company Shorthand
We all know the popular electronic abbreviations that make sending texts easier (and more fun): LOL, BRB, TTYL, etc. etc. Allow employees to use shorthand while communicating with each other to speed up the communication process – and also consider creating your own company shorthand. You can create abbreviations for certain office events or processes, or ones regarding certain projects. Abbreviations don’t only help save time, they also create a company lingo that helps create a sense of “in-the-know” and camaraderie.
Complement electronic communications with in-person meetings
Taking advantage of available technologies can help boost the effectiveness of your team’s communication considerably – but even with all the great tools available there is still no substitute for the occasional face-to-face meet up. If your team works remotely, try to schedule at least a few in-person meetings throughout the year. If that’s not feasible, try to get everyone in on a Skype conference call every few months, just to touch base and acknowledge that you’re all actual human beings. This can go a long way in fostering better relationships with your employees and amongst co-workers.
Creating an arena of open and easy communication is essential to the success of your business. If you need help setting up your devices or systems – let us know! At Vesper, we are working on this ourselves, so if you have any tips you’d like to share, we’d love to hear them.