Effective communication at work is just as important as having a safe workplace and high sales numbers. Here’s how technology can improve communication.
Did you know that effective communication in the workplace can actually improve morale and work satisfaction for employees?
Using the right technology, in the right way, to communicate clearly is as essential to good business as high sales numbers. After all, your company’s reputation and culture are built from the inside out.
Here are 5 simple ways to use technology to improve communication at work.
Using Technology to Improve Communication at Work
Meetings, phone calls, emails, texts, documents, etc. There are endless ways to share information in the workplace. Improve not only the clarity but also the quality of that information sharing with these 5 techy ideas.
1. Online Information Platforms
Sometimes catching on to the nuances or best practices of a new company takes time for employees. Having a centralized online portal for document sharing can speed up that process.
This is done with shared training documents, videos, or even workplace vocabulary guides available online.
Provide a place for employees to publish or share pertinent news or creative ideas. This will help noobies catch on quicker to how things work and can boost creativity as ideas are more openly presented.
Online document sharing can improve workplace communication as employees have a central hub for accessing goals, numbers, stats, notes, updates, or anything related to a shared project.
No more walking over to Jerry’s desk 20 times a day to ask what size font your report is supposed to be in. Just look it up in your shared folder.
Some online management tools even allow progress reports and updates in real time so employees can check regularly to see what work is left to be finished.
Many online platforms offer a chat room-style feature for employees. These are helpful when needing to ask questions or verify facts quickly.
Your employees don’t have to miss a beat, just sent a ping.
2. Video Conferencing
Last year 43% of Americans said they spent at least some time working from home. That number is on the rise as technology has made working remotely easier.
Of course, communicating face to face is valuable as you can pick up on facial expressions or body language that can be so important during business deals or transactions.
Luckily, you can have the best of both worlds with Skype, Apple group chats, video conferencing, or whatever method you choose. The options for online face time with employees and colleagues are many.
Now even your remote employees or distant clients need not be limited to email or phone conversations. Don’t miss a beat with video conference meetings.
This method of communication is more effective at improving the quality of communication as employees are more apt to pay attention when you can actually see their faces.
You can share videos, images, graphs, or anything you might normally do in person.
Gone are the days of being limited to communicating with remote individuals only what they can read or hear. Show them.
3. Create Video Training Tools
Video training tools are excellent for improving workplace communication for several reasons.
The first being that you can be sure all new employees receive the exact same information every time. There’s less risk of miscommunication or left-out information when it’s been done with the same video for every employee.
Video training is also a great way for your company to save a few bucks on otherwise lengthy training sessions or policy reviews.
You can choose video training programs that require reviews, quizzes, or check-offs at the end to incentivize employee attention and ensure completion of training videos.
This also allows for more remote work and hiring. Simply use the same video for bringing new employees in distant locations up to speed without spending an arm and a leg to bring them in or send an HR rep out to train.
4. Shared Online Scheduling System
Have you ever spent 30 minutes waiting for a coworker to show up to a meeting, only to find out they never even knew it was happening?
You can virtually eliminate this issue with shared online scheduling systems.
These are often set up through your company’s email server. Many scheduling systems allow employees to see the calendar of coworkers so they are aware of when free or unscheduled hours exist.
This makes coordinating meetings and schedules much simpler and more efficient.
Right now you may be thinking, “I don’t want all my coworkers or employees aware of exactly what meeting I’m in every second.”
Don’t worry. Most online scheduling systems allow employees to block off certain hours of the day as simply “busy”. This still allows for better communication of your availability without necessarily giving out every detail of your day.
After all, Cindy from accounting doesn’t need to know you’re out of the office for a pap smear, just that you’re not available to meet between 3 and 4 pm.
5. Keep It Simple
All the technology in the world won’t improve workplace communication if your employees can’t figure out how to use it.
In fact, choosing overly complex tools or systems will more likely do the opposite by confusing and frustrating clients and employees.
Try to choose systems that are basic enough for brand new employees or even foreign clients to use.
There should be a very shallow learning curve when it comes to the programs your company uses so as not to alienate certain demographics from fully utilizing your communication tools.
That being said, regardless of what methods of technological communication your company chooses, some training will be needed. Just make sure that you thoroughly communicate your method of communicating to all employees. (See what we did there?)
Other Ways to Improve Communication
Say you’ve chosen all the best technologies and communication systems out there. You’ve fully trained your employees, but you’re still struggling with clear and open communication at work.
Creating an engaging environment of transparency, trust, and sharing will do wonders for your business and its communication.
For more tips on how to increase employee engagement, check out our blog and start communicating better today!