A new year brings new challenges and new opportunities. The most effective leaders in business will see a challenge, embrace that challenge and turn it into an opportunity for growth. Communication has always been, and will continue to be, one of the biggest challenges for those in business. Efficient and effective communication can make or break a company. Think of business like a chain connecting the product or service to the customer. There are many links in that chain, and if any link is missing or broken, productivity will suffer.
Thankfully, today’s technology is constantly evolving to better meet the needs of today’s businesses. However, in many ways, our world is more disconnected now than ever before. Technology is a double edged sword. It allows us to instantly connect with anyone, wherever they are in the world. The struggle is making sure the connection leads to effective communication. Open and effective communication will increase employee morale, which will lead to increased productivity. Effective communication with your suppliers will allow for quick response and potentially better rates. And ultimately, great communication with your end clients, whether they are buying a product or a service, will result in higher retention rates, more repeat business, and greater word of mouth referrals.
Increase Communication within Your Business with Social Intranet software and Online Workplaces
Social Intranet Software
The larger your business grows the more segmented it becomes. Ultimately, this is a good thing, because it allows each department to focus on their core competency. However, as each team works on their portion of the project, it is easy to lose focus of the bigger picture and for communication to fall off. Social Intranet Software allows for the opportunity for all members of the business to become more of a community. This applies whether they are all in the same office or, as is increasing in popularity, spread out across the nation or even the world.
Intranet is simply a closed network system that is exclusive to those within your business. The purpose being to create an environment where your team members can communicate, not only a business level, but also on a personal level as well. Different teams can share their successes with the rest of the team to build up the moral. And they can also share some of their frustrations which, when managed properly, can create better cohesion and efficiency among different team members.
Online workplaces are similar to social intranet in that they have the same basic function, to increase communication within a business. Where they differ is in their scope and size. Online workplaces can be created within most social intranet software. They are collaborative work spaces for smaller projects or teams. Almost like a social intranet within a social intranet. Workplaces are geared to opening up communication among team members who are working on the same project. It allows for a more intimate conversation. The purpose is to increase collaboration and foster innovation through effective communication.
Use Productivity Software/Apps to Increase Business Productivity
A great complimentary tool to be used in conjunction with the Online Workplace software is productivity applications. These are also referred to as project management apps. Deadlines can be a healthy motivation to increase productivity. With the different software choices available you can assign each individual a job, list the tasks associated with that job, and place a deadline on the project. When used appropriately, this can save a lot of time in unnecessary meetings because everyone can see where everyone else is on the project. This can also foster a stronger community within the organization as there inevitably will be one or two team members who fall behind and need some extra support or assistance. Often times an employee will not tell anyone they are getting behind and they will become more and more stressed, which will just cause them to become even less productive. The transparency of these applications allows for managers to notice an employee falling behind much sooner and take the necessary steps to get everybody back on target.
For those business leaders and managers who aren’t ready to take on something as big as a business wide social intranet or you like the idea of productivity apps, but aren’t sure it’s something that will be worth it, there are several smaller scale options of ready to go apps that are inexpensive and can be easily implemented. These apps, Slack for example, are a great way to introduce collaborative tech options to your team without causing major disruption. With these “plug and play” apps there is no steep learning curve and you can observe your team members reaction and acceptance of this type of technology with little to no outlay of cash.
There are many new technologies coming out all the time. It can be tempting to jump from one hot software to the next with the expectation that each new thing will take your business to the next level. They can open up a whole new level of communication and project management and so they are well worth investigating and figuring out what areas of your business could use some new strategies. In the end, though, remember that these are just tools created to help you be more efficient in the use of your time and the time of your team members. Budget-friendly, high quality gadgets can be easily found nowadays. Search for stores that give good discount opportunities and promo codes but still offer quality gadgets. You can check https://mamma.com/us for additional savings.
Before implementing any new tech this year take some time to look at your business. Where were you successful last year? Where do you see some room for improvement? Try to deconstruct your business to some of its most basic levels. It can be easy to forget in this world of technological advancement that we manage technology; it doesn’t manage us. Going back the chain analogy used earlier, remember that each one of the chain links are operated by a person or group of people. Technology cannot replace vital human interaction, collaboration and innovation. What it can do adds strength and support. When used properly technology can make this year your greatest year ever.