Great business leaders like you are always on the lookout for ways to support and inspire their teams. You know how to motivate, mentor and manage. You understand the dynamics of a multi-generational workforce, and you know that communication is the single most vital component of business success. But you also know communication methods are ever-evolving and staying ahead isn’t always easy.
To help, we’ve compiled five tech-based communication hacks every business leader should know.
Communication Hack No. 1: Support Mobility
Today’s workforce is mobile — period. You can fight it with policies that restrict workers’ ability to access data remotely (and likely lose top employees in the process). Or, you can embrace mobility, and ensure your team has the tools necessary to safely and effectively work from anywhere.
Start by creating a realistic BYOD policy or distribute company-issued mobile devices. Develop a native app, or adopt facilities management software with mobile solutions that enable you and your team to schedule jobs, share information, view inventory, make requests and more. These mobility supports will ensure that your team is in constant communication with one another, and has access to the information they need to perform well.
Communication Hack No. 2: Mind Your Apps
Text messaging and emailing is old news. Sure, we still rely on these channels for routine workplace communication, but how confusing does it become when some conversations take place in email, others take place via text and weeks down the line, you need to recall specific information? Cue the wild goose chase. Instead, get your team set up on one of the many messaging apps to centralize and simplify communications.
- Yammer is on the popular list. It’s a collaboration tool that allows teams to create a single destination for messages, files, documents or updates so everyone can see what’s going on without the messy chatter. Quickly share information and drive active discussions to push progress forward instead of wasting time trying to craft the perfect email.
- Slack is another popular app that helps teams organize their conversations, projects or topics for discussion by creating private or public “channels.” The app supports direct messaging, drag and drop for file sharing, feedback and commentary on documents, and centralizes all your notifications. The app also has a search feature that lets you search for keywords.
Communication Hack No. 3: Leverage Management Softwares & Platforms
Manually managing teams, tasks and projects is a literal waste of time. You should strive to work smarter, not harder, and management softwares and platforms can help you get there. These technologies improve collaboration, enable you to better delegate responsibilities, ensure your team stays on schedule and bridges communication between management, employees, clients and vendors.
- Bitrix24 is one of the most popular free social enterprise platforms. It features group and video chat, document management, cloud service, built-in calendar, email, CRM, HR tools and plenty more.
- Wrike is another popular platform for task and project management. Its claim to fame is its ability to tie conversations to specific tasks and projects. Set goals and break them down into manageable pieces. Attach files and set due dates. Work collaboratively and view a timeline of events for your project. Manage resources and stay updated in real time.
Communication Hack No. 4: Hold Monthly Q&A Webinars With Your Team
Apps like GoToMeeting, Cisco WebEx, Adobe Connect and Brainshark make hosting a webinar a cinch. And hosting regular internal Q&As is an excellent way to make certain everyone is on the same page, and will reduce mistakes or misunderstandings. Be sure to promote the webinar in advance and provide clear instruction for how employees can access the meeting. Anticipate what questions will be asked and prepare answers, or ask your team to submit questions in advance.
Communication Hack No. 5: Use Anonymous Feedback Software
Feedback software, such as Custom Insights or Decision Wise allows managers to collect anonymous input from their employees about their leadership performance. Feedback software will shed light on any areas of leadership that require improvement, and will show employees that management is holding themselves accountable.
Communication is critical to every organization’s success. By leveraging technology to support your workforce and improve employee satisfaction, you can quickly prepare your company for its best year yet.
Editor's Note: This post was previously published on Inc.com and has been republished here with permission.