4 Tools That Will Simplify Your Company’s Internal Communication
Workplace communication has changed dramatically over the past couple of decades. It was only 20 years ago that email became a prevalent tool in the workplace. Today we have an endless host of tools and technologies to handle our business operations and communication needs.
Maintaining clear communication practices can save your organization both time and money, and help avoid confusion that may lead to project delays. If your company has remote employees, the use of organizational tools can help you stay in sync with your team in spite of physical distance. Here are 4 tried-and-tested tools that can help simplify your company’s internal communication.
What is it?
Slack is a communication organizational tool that streamlines conversations into "channels". A channel can be created for a particular topic, project, department or sub-committee. Employees can also use Slack for instant messaging.
- Employees can easily share files (Slack is integrated with Google Docs and Dropbox).
- Messages and files are archived and indexed, and are easily searchable weeks or months later.
- Slack can dramatically reduce email traffic and eliminate ‘quick answer’ questions that may otherwise clog up your inbox.
- Slack easily connects remote team members, allowing for real-time collaboration.
- Slack integrates seamlessly with other apps and add-ons (including your visual directory).
- Slack can be a distraction, with numerous alerts and notifications every time someone sends a message. Avoid this by adjusting notification settings for different channels, prioritizing your immediate team channel and any direct messages.
2. Google Docs
What is it?
Google has a suite of apps for businesses that includes Gmail, Google Calendar and Google Docs. Google Docs is a word processor that allows for real-time collaboration on your browser, with all changes automatically saved.
- You can benefit from immediate creative collaboration without scheduling a meeting. This is a particular benefit when working with remote staff.
- Make a mistake? No worries—all changes are saved in the revision history, so you can easily revert back to an older version of the document.
- Google Docs can be easily saved as Word or PDF files, allowing for a quick download of client deliverables.
- If you lose your internet connection, you lose access to the program (though your most recent changes will still be saved). Google has come out with a version for Chrome that provides offline access to files, but you must set this up in advance.
3. Workplace by Facebook
What is it?
Workplace by Facebook is a mobile and web app designed to keep your team connected. It combines features of Facebook, such as the News Feed, Search and Trending Posts, with messaging and chat functions that allow your team to communicate in unique groups based on projects, departments and tasks.
- The Workplace News Feed shows trending conversations from all your groups, so that you can easily be updated on your many projects or departments.
- Workplace lets you easily search for coworkers and phrases, and shows you results from across your entire company.
- The app is similar to Facebook in design and function—meaning most of your employees will already know how to use it.
- Workplace also allows you to easily plan a company event.
- Workplace can be overwhelming—with so many company updates and conversations happening in the same application, it could prove counter-productive rather than useful if internal protocols are not established.
- Unlike Slack, Workplace doesn't easily integrate with apps like Dropbox or Google Docs.
4. Video Conferencing
What is it?
- You can minimize or eliminate the time and money spent traveling to a meeting.
- You can also read the other person’s body language and facial expressions to understand the full meaning of what he or she is saying.
- Video meetings are not always an appropriate substitute for an in-person meeting. Certain sensitive employee matters, for example, should be handled in person.
- A weak or failed internet connection can interrupt the call and potentially appear unprofessional.
Ultimately, the communication tools you pick will depend on your company's particular needs. Using real-time organizational tools will help streamline and simplify internal communications, resulting in a more efficient and organized company.
Interested in learning more about communication options and choosing the best one for your company? Learn more here.