In the world of business, every second you are paying for an employee or client counts. With this in mind, it's important to find new and exciting ways to not only increase employee productivity but also to improve their performance as an engaged team. Thankfully, through the power of the internet, it’s getting increasingly easy to optimize team unity and functioning.
Having a proper communications solution in place is imperative for the overall success of your company. With so many different moving parts and dynamic assets, the idea of each person talking or emailing one-on-one with each other would simply be a mess. A better solution is to have all team members on one hub platform where they can all connect, engage and update each other with the latest processes and tasks in place – while also maximizing alignment regarding what actions should happen next.
With more organizations looking to outsource, work with freelancers and allow in-house team members to telecommute, it's important to choose a platform that works in all situations. With all of this in mind, I wanted to share a few useful resources that can help with this challenge.
Communication platforms leading the way
When it comes to the engagement and productivity of employees within a company, you need to focus on more than just having them all on the same page or working on a universal project. Today, it's more about ease of use and encouraging collaboration.
The example that has emerged as the industry standard in recent years is Slack. This platform, considered by many to be the ultimate email-killer, features an extremely intuitive and inviting design, while also connecting team members through topic-themed channels, direct messages and calls. The ability to easily share files on the go and access all of your tools in one place have been huge components to its success as well. In short, Slack has figured out how to create a platform that makes it easy for teams to communicate, no matter where they are located in the world.
There are other communication and engagement tools on the market as well, looking to not only take a slice of the pie away from Slack but to provide improved tracking and use case-specific functionalities in the process. One such tool is Smarp, which is organized as a series of topic-themed "social intranet" feeds.
Smarp can be used for internal discussions, polls, content-sharing and workflows, much like Slack, but the primary focus is employee advocacy. In addition to its company-only posts and comment threads, Smarp's core functionality focuses on content suggestions for employee advocacy purposes. Marketers can post brand content assets as well as curated industry-relevant articles from across the web. Further, team members can easily share these items with their own social media audiences, which helps to maximize brand reach while simultaneously improving employee engagement.
As you can see, the business model of providing solutions to organizations around the world is growing at a fast pace. It's not just which platform is best, it's finding the right one to fit the needs of your business and team goals.
Additional platforms to consider
With communication and team building now at the top of so many organizations' priorities, we are continually seeing new applications and platforms come to market – each with its own features, specialty use cases and interface. Depending on the focus of your business and where you might be lacking in productivity or engagement, each of the tools below could prove useful to your company:
- Zoho Connect is an app that focuses on social collaboration within your workforce and attempts to create a friendly and safe atmosphere to voice concerns and questions with others in your organization. It allows your team to engage within your online workspace in a way that encourages group collaboration as well as independent brainstorming and sharing of ideas. The platform includes tools for building knowledge base resources and automating processes. In short, Zoho Connect assists in the process of getting conversations going, turning them into better decisions and translating ideas into real action.
- Crowdicity helps you create original and innovative ideas that allow everyone in your organization to get involved. It has a simple UX and UI so your creative team's ideas can catch fire fast with all members of the group. You can also use it as an externally facing community platform, for market research or crowdsourcing ideas. The key to making this tool successful is expecting members to use it daily so they get in the habit of communicating in this way.
- Convo is another solution that lets you exchange ideas across business units. With today's workplaces commonly getting bogged down by endless email, deadlines and meetings, having an application in place to better manage workflows can be a big help. Threaded discussions, document-markup tools and groups of user profiles keep it all moving along with limited friction. And a categorized newsfeed makes it easy for everyone to know who's up to what and where, within your company, at any given time.
How to make the most of collaboration tools
As you can see, when it comes to employee engagement and communication tools, there are plenty to choose from. To make the most of these tools and increase employee engagement and communications, don't lose sight of what your goals are – not only for the company but also for the individuals who constitute your company.
When it comes down to it, the most important thing you can do to improve collaboration and team engagement is to let your team connect with a common app like the ones mentioned above. Each of these applications has the power to drastically change the way your organization connects and does business.