Effective leaders and managers understand the importance of creating a workplace that’s productive and efficient in order to accomplish department goals. One of the essential keys to efficiency is excellent team communication.
Indeed, the key to supporting smooth corporate operation and reducing downtime is to improve team communication. Fostering open atmosphere at your enterprise as well as an environment that’s conducive to interaction from management to staff and within departments has many benefits:
- Issues can be identified and resolved before they become problems
- Staff members feel invested in the company’s successes
- Overall employee morale and satisfaction are improved
- Customer service is improved
While the rules of office etiquette and engagement remain largely unchanged, inter-office and external communication can be improved by using technology wisely. Here are some ways to improve workplace communication doing just that.
Change Your Methods of Communication
Research indicates that small to mid-sized companies lose about 400,000 dollars a year to miscommunication alone.
Although 84 percent of company executives and 77 percent of employees state that email is an essential communication tool within organisations, it can also lead to a lot of digital dead ends.
After all, the average company sends and receives hundreds of emails per day, but many of these emails can get lost in the shuffle. Another challenge: delays in workplace progress as employees wait on responses to their emails.
One simple way to remedy this challenge is to switch to communication platforms like instant messaging, group chats, and SMS, which allow you to address issues and convey information in real-time while also allowing for instant feedback or clarification.
When you do rely on email for communication, make sure that staff members know the basics about avoiding unsolicited links and be sure to use automation for search and sorting to prioritize emails by level of urgency.
Employees should also use basic rules of office email etiquette to make the messages they write more readable and actionable.
Establish Rules for Communication
By the end of 2020, it’s expected that up to 50 percent of the workforce will be working remotely. Typically, remote employees use their own devices for work, which can save money on hardware and infrastructure.
However, this practice also increases security risks and lowers productivity if there are no policies governing their use. When employees are working outside the office, make sure that they aren’t connecting to unsecured outside networks. Install a VPN on all networks and work devices. You may also wish to consider putting policies in place about social media use and other time-wasters.
Additionally, make sure that any technologies employed are compatible with your office networks and devices. Set uniform policies about app usage as well, such as identifying which are allowed, so that staff members can collaborate seamlessly.
Make it Easier to Collaborate
The right tools can support communication and cooperation in any size organisation.
Tools like automated time tracking, project management apps and productivity suites make collaboration more efficient and improve communication between in-house and remote teams.
Using cloud-based file sharing and memos will make communication more effective by allowing teams to connect regardless of time or location.
These simple changes can improve productivity at your company by up to 30 percent.
Become Proactive Stewards of Efficiency
The majority of office devices and networking technology are still powered by Windows operating systems.
While we can’t expect everyone to become an IT expert, staff should be trained in basic system maintenance, troubleshooting, and security so that they can be responsible for maintaining their own workstations.
For example, staff members at all levels should know the basic rules of network safety, such as avoiding unsecured connections and limits about which personal devices can be used at work.
This is important to keep in mind with the rise of flexible and remote working arrangements, where you can’t implement the same security policies as in your office.
It’s essential to find a balance between creating a relaxed, employee-centric atmosphere and running an efficient and productive office.
Staff should feel comfortable and competent using tech solutions in a way that improves service delivery and fosters clear, open communication within an organisation.
Need some help getting started? Here are some of the top communication tools that companies are using to improve team communication, increase efficiency, and stay competitive.
Michelle Laurey works as a VA for small businesses. She loves talking business and productivity as well as sharing her experience with others. Outside her keyboard, she spends time with her Kindle library or binge-watching Billions. Her superpower? Vinyasa flow! Talk to her on Twitter.