Tip of the Week: Three Ways Collaboration Can Be Improved

1. Establish Standards for Clarity and Concision

Here?s the thing: while communication is an essential part of your operations, it has the potential to become a massive time-sink if it isn?t utilized appropriately. We?ve all found ourselves in those meetings that seem to go on and on when the important part could have been covered in five minutes. Any of your collaborative solutions could easily be used in the same way? not the ideal situation when working with a remote team.

Make sure your team is using the tools you have provided intelligently and subscribing to the keep-it-super-simple rule as much as they are able. You may find it useful to create a company shorthand to use to help clarify the context of a message. For instance, if something is purely informative and doesn?t need to be acknowledged, a quick label of NRN (No Response Needed) would help save the recipient some time. Every business operates a little differently, so figure out what works best for you.  

2. Use the Right Tool for the Job

Of course, there are almost as many means to communicate within a business as there are things to be communicated (or so it can sometimes seem). This is for a purpose, as different messages and conversations may be better suited to one format than they are another.

Have you ever tried to announce something to a group over an instant message? Unless you?ve stuck the aforementioned NRN label to it or directed anyone with questions to reach out separately, your message is bound to be lost in the crowd before long. In this case, an email would be the better option for you to use. Just as often, you?ll need to quickly inform another individual of something, and an IM would allow you to do so more effectively than an email would.

This principle extends to any of your business communications, including virtual meetings and other remote-friendly operations.

3. Review What Works and What Doesn?t

So, find a tool to help team members communicate, come up with standards, implement it, and done? right?

Not so fast. Collaborative processes are just that: processes. This means that there is always room for growth and improvement to take place within them, and that you need to actively and continually figure out how to facilitate this development. It?s just another part of the process.

Take the time to review how smoothly your collaborative processes function when they are implemented. Go through each step to see where any inefficiencies presented themselves, whether the process stalled due to unforeseen complications or it wasn?t executed properly. Once these points are identified, figure out what can be done to mitigate the impacts, be it adding another bullet point to the process or providing additional training to the employee involved. After the process has been adjusted, do it again, and stress test until it gets better, or a new solution presents itself as an option.

For help with these solutions, please don?t hesitate to reach out to White Mountain IT Services. We understand how trying times can test a business and can do a lot more than just offer tips on how to make the most of things. To find out how we can improve your operations with the right technology in place, give us a call at (603) 889-0800.

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