For a long time, workplace communication was limited to office intercoms and yelling over cubicle walls. As primitive as these approaches sound, they were the standards.
Workplaces now enjoy a litany of team collaboration tools developed to engage remote and in-person employees who no longer limit their productivity to a specific workplace or certain office hours. But no matter where employees are, they want high-quality communication and collaboration tools that are convenient to use.
How can small business leaders ensure their team collaboration tools continue to meet that demand? By embracing the spirit of those same tools and creating collaborative workplace cultures.
One of the primary benefits of collaboration tools is that ideas can flow freely and go into action at a moment’s notice. When those collaboration tools are added to a collaborative workplace culture, it fosters the kind of environment in which everyone — and every tool — can truly thrive.
To get the kind of insights necessary to ensure your collaboration tech is top shelf, you’ll need to start by getting some answers from your team. That way, employees will fit the tool — not the other way around.
Here are some helpful questions to ask your team:
• What tools do you currently use to communicate? Is it a messenger app, or is most of your correspondence via email and other means? You can even open up this question to the communication tools team members use most in their personal lives. Determine how the majority of your office communicates, and it should lead you toward team collaboration tools that engage every employee rather than a select few. You might be surprised by what ideas your team offers.
• What’s your preferred mode of remote work? Whether team members are full-time remote employees or just working remotely now and then, they’ll have preferences for how they’re reached. Maybe it’s via phone, conference line, messaging, or video conferencing platform. Use this time surveying employees to find the best remote collaboration tools to foster your collaborative team culture.
• What kind of document sharing do you use? More and more platforms offer live editing and commenting features for document sharing. Ask employees how effective those solutions are and how often they leverage them.
• How do you track thoughts and take notes? Do your team members put pen to pad and jot down notes the old-fashioned way? Or do they prefer to take notes on their laptops or tablets? What about transcriptions? Do they use their preferred word processors to keep living documents of ideas and insights? Learn their preferences to provide optimal business collaboration tools.
You’ll want to ask these questions annually or at least every other year. You can then apply those answers to what’s currently on the market to determine whether you’re getting the best value out of the slate of tools at your disposal. Maybe one — or more — of the team collaboration tools best suited for your team is offered in a stack that you can invest in for the whole staff. That’s far easier and more efficient than using a dozen different solutions from a dozen different providers.
Collaborative tools are most effective when they’re easy to use. Learn about the tools that best help your employees communicate, and your business’s ability to produce and collaborate will never falter.
Have your own answers to the above questions confirmed your need for new team collaboration tools?
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