A business that improves communication between workers in an office will improve morale and boost productivity. Ultimately, a large office with poor communication will pay the price because miscommunication usually affects the bottom line. Fortunately, however, the digital revolution has resulted in numerous online communication services that can make intra-office communication drop-dead simple.
Here are 5 ways to get started on improving intra-office communication in your office.
1. Allow Workers to Use Instant Messengers
Instant messaging (IM) is used in many offices for employee collaboration. They use it either to replace email or in addition to email. Offices that use both systems use IM for quick messages or conversations and email for messages not requiring immediate attention or for longer FYI messages. Originally a social tool to chat with friends from a home computer, IM has been adopted by office workers as a way to avoid telephone tag or leaving a desk to discuss a project. All IM communication requires is an Internet connection and a small application loaded onto the local computer’s hard-drive.
Within an office setting, IM is much easier and faster to use than email and creates more of an instant conversation rather than a long-drawn out email rally. There are three reasons why IM is more efficient than email:
- First, a pop up mechanism displays a message almost as soon as it is sent.
- Second, it has a “buddy list” that can be organized efficiently, editing, adding, or deleting contacts.
- Third, it signals if a “buddy” is available for conversation or does not want to be disturbed. For example, if a status message indicates that someone is out of the office, then the sender can write an email or leave a voice message.
2. Set up Yammer
Yammer is like Twitter or Facebook, but within a private, secure social network. It’s creating a quiet revolution in office communications. The enterprise level software helps a business achieve rapid communication, complete collaborative tasks, and meet long-term goals. Rather than long-drawn out telephone conversations, endless meetings, and consulting on technical problems, it provides increased communication. It can be used in a large office where workers are scattered over a large area or it can be used in connecting with remote workers. Signing up for this service only takes a minute. A company email address is all that is necessary to get started with Yammer.
3. Create a Private LinkedIn Group
LinkedIn is a professional network service, a social networking website for business relationship building. Apart from allowing users to create a resume-like profile page, it also allows for small, private groups to be created.
A Linkedin group permits users to discover a conversational thread; participating by liking and commenting on the thread; learning more about the top influencers in a thread by clicking a link that takes you to their profile; distinguishing between old discussions and fresh, new ones; reviewing the popularity of a discussion by seeing how many people signaled that they liked the thread and how many commented on it.
The major benefit of this tool is to stimulate brainstorming and pooling of information and ideas. This is a perfect tool for a technical company where people with different levels of knowledge and skills can collaborate, share ideas, offer feedback and come up with new ideas.
4. Keep Employees Informed With a CRM Tool
Use an online customer relationship management tool to allow staff workers to see what other workers have said to a client. Highrise is an example of an excellent relationship management application. Their catchy theme slogan is that the software remembers so that you don’t forget. Highrise provides the following 6 staff-client recording services:
- It stores every oral or written conversation.
- It stores every email contact.
- It stores every telephone call.
- It stores every meeting.
- It stores every document.
- It stores every deal made.
These services provide the following 3 benefits:
- You’ll know which staff members have talked to the client.
- You’ll know what was said.
- You’ll know when to follow-up.
5. Use a Dedicated Project Management Tool
An application like Basecamp makes projects simple and clear. What makes Basecamp different from most project management software is that it takes a completely different approach to managing a project. By focusing on collaboration and communication rather than stats, graphs, and charts, the tool brings people together, empowering them to harmoniously work with each other. During a recent survey, approval rating was an astonishing 98%. Customers said that they would gladly recommend the software to anyone involved in a collaborative project.
John is a writer for Office Kitten, a specialist supplier of stationery online in the UK.