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Published On: Fri, Nov 9th, 2018

Team Communication: the key to your business’s productivity

Businesses thrive on the productivity of their employees. The amount of quality work each employee can produce in a work day is a simple formula of the utmost importance to any organization. What goes into this simple formula, however, can be difficult to pick apart.

Questions around how to make employees more productive have puzzled economists and people in business for years. Many have relied on technology to solve the problem, assuming that advances in communication technology, for example, will automatically lead to higher levels of productivity. Unfortunately, it isn’t quite so easy.

In this ever more tech-reliant workplace, the key to higher productivity could lie in how you and your team engage with and use technology in order to communicate, but technology should be seen as a tool, not a solution by itself. In order to see real gains in productivity you should focus on making your team communication as efficient and engaging as possible.

photo/ Gerd Altmann

More Tech, lower engagement

Despite the numerous advancements in social media and other IT, these new technologies have not always translated into more engaged workers. In fact, only 33% of American employees are engaged at work, a key driver of productivity. This leaves a lot of room for growth if you take the correct approach to workplace communication and collaboration.

Quite often the focus of new communication technologies in the workplace is on quantity, not quality. For example, focusing more on how quickly you can respond to a message or an email, rather than whether your interaction is meaningful and engaging. This leaves a lot of untapped potential in the workplace. For example, knowledge worker productivity could be improved by 20-25% through more effective use of social technologies.

There are of course examples of businesses who have taken the lead in harnessing the power of technology to drive productivity, but they are still far too few. What they have in common though is that their vision for employee engagement comes first, and the technology to help them realize this vision second.

Start with a vision, then turn to tech

If you want your employees to increase their productivity, the first place to focus on is how they interact with each other, and you should create an aspirational vision for your team’s communication and collaboration. Start by reflecting of these questions:

  • In the perfect case, how does your team’s communication look?
  • What’s the frequency and type of communication?
  • How are they interacting and collaborating with each other?
  • What concrete results is this collaboration leading to?

These are just a few of the questions that you should start considering in order create your team’s communication goals. Ideally this reflection should be done with your entire team in order to gain their valuable insights and buy-in. If your team’s vision for communication and collaboration is shared, it has a much higher likelihood to eventually become reality. Once that’s done, it’s time for a plan to achieve these goals.

Any successful communication plan should have one overarching goal- making your aspirational vision a reality. Any communication structures that you put in place should ultimately serve this goal. For example, if your communication and collaboration vision includes different teams in your organization being aware of the work of other teams in order to find areas of collaboration, then it may make sense to have monthly organization-wide update meetings.

Regardless of the structures that you agree on in your communication plan, it’s important to have the right tools to effectively execute them.

Make sure you have systems in place

While social media or other communication technologies won’t lead to more productive and engaged employees automatically, it can certainly play a role. Providing your employees with an intuitive and easy to use collaboration platform can be a great addition to the well thought out communication strategies discussed above. This technology can be the tool your team can utilize in order to achieve the effective and engaging communication that will drive their productivity.

The most efficient communication technologies are those that make all of your team’s communication and collaboration streamlined in one program. An example of one of these “one stop shop” programs is Brosix IM, which specializes in privately administered team communication networks with a full range of collaboration features. This type of network eliminates the need for multiple programs, something that can easily confuse and distract your employees.

Regardless of which system you end up going with, it’s important to make sure it’s user friendly and that your team has the training to effectively use it. With the right vision and right tools to realize it, your team will be well on its way to increasing its productivity through more efficient communication and collaboration.

Final Words

One of the most important factors for driving your team’s productivity is its communication. The modern workplace is becoming increasingly collaborative, so helping your employees more efficiently work together, exchange information and ideas, and collaborate is essential to remain competitive.

While new and exciting technological innovations in workplace communication can certainly help improve your team’s communication, their potential benefit will depend largely on you knowing how, when and why to use them. Technologies without a clear vision for efficient team communication unfortunately won’t bring your team to the next level of productivity, but when these two elements work in tandem the potential is limitless!

About the Author:

Rupesh Singh is freelance writer and founder of moneyoutline.com You can follow him on Google + & Facebook.

About the Author

- Outside contributors to the Dispatch are always welcome to offer their unique voices, contradictory opinions or presentation of information not included on the site.

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