Work is busy. That is just the way it is. You need to work hard to make gains and achieve success. Instead of adding more to your daily plate of responsibilities, find ways to be more productive. Continue reading for suggestions and solutions on how you can make it happen.
Communication is and always has been an essential tenet in any company. Regardless of where you and your team work, you still need to pass information along to one another with expediency and efficiency. Decision-making can be split-second in certain situations, and it requires checking in with other employees to vet the proper response or decision outcome.
Getting up and walking across the office to discuss the best solutions or how to proceed with the next project is not reasonable every time a conversation needs to happen. Rethink how you and your team interface to make communications advantageous.
The best way to make the information flow successfully is by utilizing the best employee communication apps available. The one you choose may depend on what your business offers or how you have structured your workplace.
As the head of the company, you should be involved in the selection of communication tools. After all, you will be using them, too. Task your management team and supervisors to spend some time using and reviewing the usability and functionality of each communication app.
As you are ultimately narrowing down your options and making the final selection, consider these questions.
What is the size of your team?
How many departments or divisions are within your company?
What is the ability and functionality to share calendars and coordinate meetings or events?
How easy is the app to use?
Does the app have note-sharing capabilities?
Is the app compatible with your current operating system?
Does your company need an app that is both desktop and mobile-friendly?
Is a help desk available to answer questions or troubleshoot problems within reasonable hours?
Once you have decided on the most appropriate communication app for your unique workplace, ensure your entire staff receives proper training on the best practices for effective utilization. Additionally, revisit the suitability of the app routinely to determine whether or not it is still meeting your company’s needs.
Reconsider Work Arrangements
For the past three years or so, work locations and arrangements have changed considerably. For a while, the changes were out of necessity. As time has passed, a variety of motivations have arisen for these different workplace adaptations.
Some things to consider regarding the path forward to accommodate a productive staff include the following talking points:
Do the products your company produces support anything other than in-person work?
Can some of your employees work from home even if warehouse or assembly line personnel cannot?
Do any of your employees struggle with work-life balance concerns, such as childcare, school transportation times, elder care, etc?
Can any of your company’s work be conducted off-site?
Talk with the other leadership in your company, the IT department, Human Resources personnel, and then with your employees themselves. Discuss potential options to make everyone’s workday better while continuing to increase productivity and put out an excellent product or service.
The options you may give some or all of your employees, depending on their specific work roles, may include:
Fully Remote – An employee who works entirely from a remote location, which is usually their home.
Hybrid – A hybrid work solution will consist of a split between remote work and in-office work. The percentage of your employees who will be in either location may be predetermined by workplace needs, your request as the boss, or your employees’ needs. This solution may be open to negotiation.
In-Office – If you run a business that produces any type of products, you probably have a warehouse and a large production facility. Obviously, the employees who work in this type of location are unable to have a remote or hybrid work solution.
However, you can discuss the option of a shorter work week. Perhaps four longer work days will allow for one less work day per week. Even with a production line, you can stagger the work schedules so that your production line does not slow down or stop, but your staff receives a different work-life balance choice.
Watch this TED Talk for a nuanced dialogue from an Organizational Design expert.
Email Versus Meeting Conundrum
One question that pops up seemingly everywhere these days is, “Could that meeting have been an email?” First, you can change email to the communication app you have selected for your workplace. Second, that may depend on the locations of your employees and whether you participate in a flexible workplace model – in the office, hybrid, or remote.
That being said, sometimes management needs to have some actual face-to-face time with the team to discuss important issues. At other times, there is essential training that must be conducted in person due to the sensitive nature, digital security needs, or workplace requirements.
And then there are those moments when everyone is asking that question about how the meeting could have been handled differently because it definitely did not need to be a meeting in any capacity. Sometimes, a comprehensive slide deck with training links is all anyone needs to recertify or refresh themselves on company policies.
On other occasions, an in-person meeting may be necessary, but not with the entire staff or even a whole department. Perhaps the key players can be on site for the meeting and disseminate the information via the proper communication channels once the content has been summarized. There are many ways to maximize time, sometimes the best way to do it is with a meeting, and at other times it is decidedly not the best use of anyone’s time.
Work smarter by using technology to your advantage. Find the most productive and user-friendly communication apps to benefit your entire team. Work on streamlining workplace meetings and summarizing best practices via succinct emails. Your employees will thank you.