If you want to improve employee collaboration, it will need to involve significantly more than a motivational speech and a large pepperoni pizza. Instead, you’ll need to invest in the technology that collaboration flows through – in other words, the tools, apps, and gadgets that make collaborating easy, seamless, and engaging.
Here are 4 things to consider in your journey to improve employee collaboration.
Sure, smartphone apps can be a terrible drain on anything that even remotely resembles productivity. However, there are smartphone apps that can actually push your productivity in the opposite direction (even when an entire team of people are involved).
Apps like OneNote and Wunderlist can help your team manage to-dos, share notes, and communicate ideas. While these apps aren’t ideal for ongoing communication, they can fill in many of the gaps the 21st century tends to create. In other words, they give you a platform to fall back on when instant messages and email just won’t cut it anymore.
Obviously, you won’t be able to collaborate very well if you can’t communicate … and on multiple levels, too. So, while smartphone apps can piece together the holes, you still need the foundation. At this point, you’ll need multiple pieces to make sure everyone has what they need to communicate seamlessly.
As an example, say you’re limited to just your inbox and the phone. When you have simple yes-or-no questions (which you probably do all day long), these can flood your inbox and take up too much of your time over the phone. This is why you need more options.
Ideally, you should have:
- A reliable phone setup that has a variety of features and lets you answer calls out of the office with any connected device
- An instant messaging platform that gives you the ability to quickly communicate with coworkers (and clients)
- Video conferencing capabilities so you can communicate with remote employees face-to-face and hold video meetings with clients, prospects, and partners
While you don’t need fancy gadgets to collaborate with your team, it can help … and in a way that drastically increases engagement.
For example, a mondopad can help with video conferences (or in-person meetings). It can become an interactive whiteboard and give you the ability to access cloud-based apps and share screens with other attendees.
As another example, Google’s Jamboard is similar to a mondopad but focused more on brainstorming, idea generation, and presentations. You can roll it from place to place, access Google’s G Suite, and share your sessions with other people using the Jamboard app (even if they’re out of the office).
A major piece of collaboration involves sending and receiving information – anything from files and documents to messages and videos. But this can all get out of hand very quickly, especially if this information is managed through your inbox.
To avoid this mess, file-sharing tools like Dropbox, Google Docs, and OneDrive are great alternatives. You can share individual documents or entire folders, add comments and suggestions to shared files, and use sharing links to collaborate with external parties. With Google Docs and OneDrive, in particular, you can even co-edit documents and see these changes in real time (which makes collaborating more seamless).
If you’d like more technology tips and tricks, take a look around our blog site. With decades of combined experience building custom technology solutions for SMBs, we love sharing our knowledge of technology with other people.