If you want some quick and simple ways which are better than email, try some of these ideas. Younger staff will love them as these are the methods they use in their social life to communicate with many of their friends.
- Group Texting – WhatsApp or Skype
- Chat rooms – Slack
- Video – Instagram or WhatsApp
- Collaborative “ToDo” Apps – Asana
- Social media – Facebook, Twitter
Instant messaging is s a “go-to” method for communicating important and timely information to your team. We have WhatsApp groups for the family, our various cycling groups, once off parties, clubs, sailing crew, etc. Remember you can silent a group so that it is not annoying you with endless pings. This is particularly useful if there is a large group of members of a particular WhatsApp group. It also useful to see if someone has been active on WhatsApp as their time of last connection is recorded. If you are in the consumer world, facebook Instant messages can also be sent to groups.
Cloud-based mobile technology facilitates a deeper sense of engagement among employees. Using communications tools in this area usually includes the benefits of enhanced data security. Also, cloud-based technology can be easily upgraded as new digital improvements become available. Messaging platforms such as Instagram is particularly used a great deal by the PG generation. i.e. The Post Googlers.
Video platforms is particularly good when you want to get a message out both internally and externally. Consider using an expert who knows how messages will be received by your intended audiences. Our member Courtyard Studios https://www.facebook.com/courtyardfacilities/ help companies like Ulster Bank, Diageo and Microsoft communicate their message effectively. They also created our member testimonials video on our website. It just took one email to them, outlining the main 4 messages we wanted to convey. They shot the video in about 15 minutes after one of our Board meetings. The edit came back in about two days and there was just one minor adjustment. Judge for yourself, the quality and speed and effectiveness of the video. I have known that I tried to do it myself previously, but now I know that having a relationship with a great quality production company who is expert at communicating your business message is worth its weight in gold.
Onboarding New Employees:
If you don’t have a good onboarding methodology, get an expert to help you. Our recommendation is to use someone like FordeHrCloud It is really a smart idea, not to make the mistakes that every small business makes by not having a HR professional minding your back when it comes to employee issues. Make your life and your business simple so you can get on with your core business activities. You add value with these activities and many other activities destroy value. Ideally, you will have 7 or more staff before you need to outsource this critical function, but it will be far better in the long run by every measure. You will hire better, onboard new staff better, exit underperforming staff quicker and ultimately grow your business with better people. You may have heard the line that culture eats strategy. Well, great communications are an essential ingredient of a great company culture.
One of the best tips from one of our TAB Board meetings this week was to create a Slack Channel and call it Insights. That way new ways of solving problems, are shared with everyone in your organisation. This is a powerful motivator for everyone and a great learning tool. It can be integrated with other tools such as Asana and twitter etc. The key to setting up Slack well is to get everyone in your group using it, set up the channels so that they are relevant and move your communications to that platform. Asana, on the other hand, is more of a project management tool or a collaborative to-do list. The most powerful part is the list view to see what jobs are in arrears.
Collaborative “to do” lists
Trello, Asana are probably the top tech tools when you have project teams who need to carry out functions. If one function is dependent on another being completed, you may need something more robust such as process.io. A tool like process.io will not let you proceed to the next step unless the previous step has been marked as complete. This can be very important if you have critical procedures and quality control challenges. e.g. If all the spellings in a print run have not been doubled checked after the last edit. Failure to complete such a procedure could result in a print run of thousands of items being printed with bad spellings and reflecting poorly on everyone involved and wasting a great deal of time and money.
We use Asana in our business. When launching a new territory, we have a checklist of 200 items that need to be done to ensure a successful launch. We have templated this and every time we launch we copy over the template. Each facilitator will commit to completing activities by certain dates. This means that conversations can be focused on where help is required, rather than what has been done and what remains to be done. It is also useful for diarising items which repeat at regular intervals but are not date critical. e.g. passing invoices for regular suppliers. However, if the activity is forgotten about it will create a problem fairly soon.