In today’s world, it’s easier than ever before to access information and communicate from anywhere. Your employees aren’t always in the same place at the same time, but that doesn’t mean they can’t communicate effectively. Thankfully we live in a time when communication can be streamlined using tools built specifically for promoting better business communication and productivity in the workplace. Consider these five ways to streamline your internal communication strategy.
1. Send a company newsletter
We’re a fan of the monthly company newsletter; sending more than once a month can be over-kill. Use your newsletter as an outlet for summarizing news and updates. Inform your employees about sales goals and progress, as well as any press your business receives, new hires and anything else you feel necessary for the entire company to know. Keep your newsletter clear and to the point by adding a table of contents and anchor the headlines to their related sections. For longer articles, just use a short description of the article and add a link to the full article on the web.
2. Choose one tool for all company chats
Build a stronger working relationship amonst your employees, especially if your business operates in several different locations. The ability to chat in real-time increases productivity and builds a forum for your employees to feel comfortable sharing ideas. For secure, easy-to-use chat tools, check out Yammer, Hipchat and Slack. Chat one-on-one, in a group and invite clients to the conversation while controlling what they see.
All three tools save chats indefinitely, allowing you to reference previous conversations. Slack comes highly recommended by our Social Media Manager, Derek Overbey, due to its robust search functionality providing the ability to search entire conversations by keywords. You can also leave a conversation and pick up right where you left off upon return to the application.
Yammer is HIPAA compliant, so if your business is in the medical field or you have clients in the medical field, you’re permitted to chat away! Hipchat uses the same security protocol as online banks and allows you to deploy its service on your company server. Use all three applications on your phone, tablet or computer to chat anytime, anywhere.
3. Store and share files in one place
Protect the files you share with your co-workers and clients by using Dropbox or Box. Both services allow you to control the content being shared, along with the ability to manage who is sharing content. It’s important for your employees to access documents from one place, but you also need to make sure your documents are stored securely. Dropbox and Box provide solid security structures with strong encryption methods, password protected links, and superior access controls.
Box also provides the functionality to make live edits to shared content and automate workflows for reviews and approval. This is especially useful for franchises that need an easy way to manage brand consistency for marketing materials used by their franchisees.
4. Conduct conference calls from one, secure phone number
Every business needs a reliable conference call tool. Two recommendations are GoToMeeting and UberConference. Schedule conferences with multiple offices, loop in employees working remotely and schedule meetings with clients or vendors. Using both tools, you can see a picture of everyone included on the call and know who is speaking at any given time, which is a huge plus for businesses that have multiple locations.
Your employees may not know everyone in the company, so the ability to put a face to the people they’re working with helps build a stronger community.
Both tools are simple to use and allow you to record your meetings. One of the advantages UberConference has over GoToMeeting is the ability to use the same phone number you signed up with. Check out both to find the tool that best fits your business needs.
5. Manage projects from one dashboard
If you aren’t using a project management tool, it’s time to consider using one. It’s essential to keeping all communication regarding projects in one place. With tools such as Asana and Trello, you can manage workflows smoothly and efficiently. Both applications require minimal effort to set up and are easy-to-use.
Asana designed its layout to appeal to those who are more ‘list-oriented’. Using Asana, you can create ‘to-do’ lists, manage projects via the calendar function, assign tasks to tags and easily keep track of project updates.
Trello has more of a visual dashboard that displays projects as boards. Each project board allows you to create cards where you can add comments, upload files, and assign tasks. Drag and drop cards to lists to keep track of progress.
Set up a free account with both to find out which layout you prefer.
Use these five ways to streamline your internal communication. You’ll be on your way to creating an environment where your employees feel comfortable communicating ideas and feedback with one another leading to innovation, increased productivity, and a better company culture.
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