Is your culture suffering from ineffective communication? Teams with low levels of communication are less productive, less happy and looking for new jobs. As a leader, you know it’s your responsibility to fix it, but how?
According to a 2018 study, more employers than ever are struggling to fill open positions — 45% globally say they can’t find the skills they need, up from 40% in 2017 and the highest in over a decade. With talent shortages at record levels, you can‘t afford to lose good people due to bad communication.
After looking at our company closely, I found that communication was a big issue. Even though we are small, we had this problem as well, and it was impacting our results. We discovered shockingly easy ways to use technology to fix this problem.
Here is how you can use technology to improve communication in your organization no matter the size:
- Sharing Ideas
Most people have good ideas, but they aren’t encouraged to share them. Dedicate a time for your team to think and brainstorm. During this time they can treat themselves as the customer and think of ways to improve their work lives. Alternatively, they can think of new products or services for customers.
SharePoint, Google Drive, Asana or Confluence is an excellent way to capture, evaluate and share ideas. Once your people see that you listen to their ideas and implement them, they will become more engaged and satisfied.
- Social Breaks
Are breaks mandatory in your organization? Studies have shown that we are more effective when we take breaks. Recent studies have found that social breaks are more effective than non-social breaks. The goal is to get away from your desk and talk about topics other than work.
Encourage your team to use their Google, Outlook or Apple calendars plan breaks with others. They can also use the team calendar to celebrate birthdays, holidays and other life events.
- Enabling Deep Work
People need time to focus on doing meaningful work. Multitasking kills productivity. People will leave your organization if they don’t feel they can concentrate on being productive. Your people need to know that it is ok to say no to unnecessary meetings or impromptu conversations. They will look for you to give them the autonomy to do so.
By using team chat software your people can use the status option to let people know that they should not be disturbed. They can also block off time on the team calendar to let people know that they will use that time for focused work. Also, encourage people to take their laptops or mobile devices and work in a different location.
These are just some ideas that I’ve found to be helpful in our company and with our clients. What else can you do to improve communication in your organization?
Isaac Barnes is the co-founder and CTO of Eminent IT; an award-winning information technology firm focused on helping government organizations improve their business processes and technologies. He developed, lead, and implemented over 50 IT projects for the Department of Defense, Executive Office of the President and other organizations over the past 16 years.