Five tech-savvy ways to improve communication with your employees
Employee communication is one of your most important responsibilities as the leader of your team. Though it seems simple and straightforward on the surface, even the mildest hiccup in communication between employees and managers
can have lasting consequences - both for the project at hand and for the company as a whole. If you want your communication to remain in top order, you'll need some modern tech tools and a solid strategy to help you achieve those ends.
16 Jan 2017 15:38 Why communication is vital
First, let’s address why communication is so important in the first place. Effective communication lends itself to:
Tech Strategies for Better Communication
- Productivity. When employees spend less time translating messages, weeding through unnecessary back-and-forth threads, and correcting misunderstandings, they can spend more time doing what’s really important in their roles.
- Clarity. Communicating clearly and in a timely manner helps to prevent misinterpretations and missed opportunities. Your employees will make fewer mistakes, and there will be less uncertainty to hash through.
- Responsiveness. Fast communication with your employees is sometimes necessary; when responding to an emergency or collecting details for an imminent need, you need a reliable system that can keep everyone in touch as quickly as possible.
- Morale. Better communication makes employees feel better understood and more connected. When your communication skills as a group improve, you’ll notice morale rise correspondingly.
How can you use technology to your advantage in bringing your employees closer together?
Finding the best fit for your business
- SMS group messaging. For starters, you can invest in tech solutions with SMS group messaging options. These are perfect for getting your entire team up to speed quickly, and for making immediate contact in emergency or urgent situations. For example, as Deputy suggests, you could use SMS group messaging to let all your employees know when a new schedule’s been posted, or even reminders about when they work.
- Instant messaging apps. Next, you’ll need some kind of instant messaging app that’s available on multiple types of devices. SMS messaging is good, but it’s better for one-sided broadcasts. IMs are better for when you need to have a conversation with a written record of what transpired. Look for apps with fast response times, easy integration, and simplicity — you don’t need anything fancy here to keep your team in contact.
- Meeting scheduling and planning. As Lifehack illustrates, meetings have the potential to be low points of productivity for your organisation. They’re necessary institutions in many cases, getting your employees together for in-person conversation, but if you pick the wrong team members or fail to have an agenda, you could wind up wasting everyone’s time. Instead, investing in meeting scheduling and planning tools will help you keep this area of management in order, and greatly improve your overall productivity.
- Data visualisation. Analytics Magazine predicts sharp growth for data visualisation in the next few years, and it’s easy to see why. Data collection and analysis are highly important for understanding practically any issue, but it’s hard to make seamless, intuitive sense of raw numbers and objective data points. Instead, visualisation consolidates that information into easy-to-interpret visuals, such as graphs and charts. Make sure you have a visualisation tool in your arsenal to more effectively communicate those abstract concepts.
- Project management software. Finally, get your team on the same project management software. There are tons of options here, but unfortunately, there’s no straightforward answer as to which platforms are better than others. You’ll need some mechanism for organising projects, assigning responsibilities, uploading files, and exchanging messages, but beyond that, your choice is up to the preferences of your brand. If you’re looking for more specific suggestions, Creative Bloq has a suitable list here.
All of these strategies involve specific tech tools, but there are multiple options available for each category. How can you choose which one is best for your business? Unfortunately, there’s no simple way to do this. Instead, you’ll have to dig into some platform-specific research (including taking free trials) and consider variables like your company culture, your budget, your team needs, and any past experiences you’ve had with other software.