Business Software for Efficient Communication
Growing and maintaining a successful company culture where employees and team members feel heard, understood, and valued is a challenge many large and small businesses face.
Whether it is through email, video conferencing, or interactions on internal messaging platforms, a lot can get lost in translations. So, everyone from a business owner to corporate salesforce workers to those in human resources can work together in creating a world that just makes a little more sense — literally.
Strong company culture and internal communications are critical pieces to a thriving workplace. If you hear ``I'm glad we had this chat" often, there's a sure sign that you're clear, communicative, and demonstrating your capabilities.
The Expenses of Poor Communication
A recent survey of 400 corporations estimates that communication barriers cost businesses up to 62.4 million dollars in lost productivity per year. Don’t lose hope! Research also shows that carefully integrated remote technology increases collaboration and enhances the end-product.
Simply put, the future of work prioritizes effective workplace communication because it yields wildly successful results in employee productivity, engagement, retention, and improved business processes. Collaboration is key to staying on schedule and creating a product you're proud of.
How the Pandemic Changed the Way You Communicate
The pandemic impacted every industry and area of business as we know it. In the US, 42% of employees were working remotely full-time in the summer of 2020. We've seen living rooms turn into conference rooms and bedrooms turn into offices. If you've ever filled out an Excel spreadsheet while cozied up in bed, you know how awesome remote work is.
In addition, 73% of tech companies expect to keep a remote working option. There will undoubtedly be some communication challenges as we pivot to working from home. Some examples of disconnect in virtual communications include a lack of clarity, non-verbal cues, and poorly-delivered constructive feedback.
The modern workplace calls for a convenient way to communicate and collaborate with their project manager and team members. Teachers can better communicate with their students. Job hunters can put their best foot forward with interviewers.
Learning how to best use digital tools and software with remote teams can improve communication, personal connection, and help deliver critical information quickly and efficiently.
Virtual Meetings Are the New Normal
Nearly half of the population working from home requires a rapid shift from face-to-face meetings and communication to virtual meetings, leveraging communication tools such as Zoom, Skype, and Slack. With the reduction in face-to-face interactions, virtual meetings have become the norm across many industries.
So far, most people believe virtual or video conference meetings are convenient and productive. However, creating the right blend of elements is key.
The Downsides of Video Conferencing
At the height of the pandemic, almost every organization was running video meetings, which allowed for lots of technical difficulties and challenges to arise, especially if an attendee has poor reception or internet connection.
Additionally, working from home naturally has more distractions. Between family at home, barking dogs, Twitter notifications from your great aunt, or Amazon at the front door, encouraging employees to create a distraction-free zone in their house is critical.
With experience, at-home task management can be a breeze. Whether you are sifting through your Google Drive, doing some critical bookkeeping, or whipping up some stunning Facebook Ads, remote work isn't a necessary evil; it's a gift.
The Downside to Internal Messaging Systems and Social Technologies
Welcome to the integration station. With a little assistance from our dear friend, technology, we can indeed have the best of both at-home and in-office lives.
The downsides to constant communication over an internal messaging system are the lack of personal connection, which generally disconnects working relationships. Coworkers aren't sharing cubicles or meeting in the break room. They might not be able to attend team-building events, which boosts employee morale.
Just because the pandemic created social distancing doesn't mean there needs to be social isolation. Consider making intentional space for social engagement within the company, such as a Slack channel dedicated to non-work-related discussions.
These pitfalls prove that using various tools available to improve virtual settings and communications among teams is critical, such as the Poised Communication Coach. Poised is an AI-powered tool that indicates areas to improve, resulting in a more effective communication style.
Effective Communication Skills in The Workplace
Clarity and Being Concise
Advertisers know this to be true: "short and sweet." There's a reason slogans and rhymes live in our heads on a constant free trial. Efficient verbal communication means saying just enough but not too much or too little.
The goal is to convey your message in as few words as possible. As Shakespeare said, "Brevity is the soul of wit." That's some business intelligence ahead of its time.
Focusing on delivering clear and concise information ensures the video call members comprehend the tangible priorities or goals. Another great way to ensure clarity is to rephrase or repeat something if they are confused or misunderstood.
Active listening is how an individual receives information from another person or group. It involves listening and digesting information without getting distracted or interrupting. Some great ways to employ active listening are offering support if someone is confused or distressed or validating someone's feelings or opinions.
Other examples are asking open-ended questions to diffuse a situation, giving verbal affirmation, and paraphrasing what the person said to ensure that you understand.
Empathy and Respect
Empathy is the ability to put yourself in one's shoes. Saying phrases such as "I understand where you're coming from or how you feel" shows that you care and respect their point of view. Showing respect can be as simple as using a person's name, making eye contact, and actively listening when a person speaks to make them feel appreciated. Employing empathy and respect also builds trust.
Having the ability to give positive and constructive feedback professionally is a critical communication skill. When giving constructive feedback, make sure to start on a positive note. List the items your team has excelled with. Then, you can add in a few encouraging remarks. Make sure to offer ways to help them and ask if there is any specific support they might need.
Many companies understand the importance of providing constructive criticism; however, it's equally important to praise employees for a job well done.
Positive feedback allows managers to recognize them for their efforts, ensuring they understand expectations and feel appreciated. Most employees would prefer to receive regular feedback daily or weekly, so it is essential to include it in your overall communication strategy.
The Benefits of Efficient Communication
The benefits of prioritizing efficient communication among teams are vast. The research is clear: workers value efficient, empathetic, and collaborative communication. When there are clear lines of communication across all departments and teams, everyone is more productive, engaged, and happy.
Open communication in the workplace helps us to understand our roles and have a clear direction regarding expectations. This empowers people to take the appropriate steps needed without confusion or stress.
When people are clear on their roles and responsibilities and receive regular feedback, they perform better and maintain day-to-day workflow. Additionally, when they feel safe to voice their concerns, ideas, and opinions, relationships strengthen, and employee satisfaction soars.
Communication Resolves Conflict
Good communication builds trust with employees. When individuals trust their managers and colleagues, they feel comfortable being open and honest about workplace issues.
Using active listening has the power to avoid miscommunications and handle differences of opinion with maturity and respect. Learning how to communicate with people empathetically lets them know you care and are committed to coming to an understanding.
Communication Breeds Innovation
Growth and innovation go hand and hand with communication. How? It reduces confusion and wasted time spent on uncertainty or tracking down missing information.
When everyone is clear on what they need to do, when or how to do it, projects will run smoothly and efficiently without stress. Those who feel comfortable and confident will be more creative and contribute towards innovative ideas, benefiting the whole organization.
Increases Job Satisfaction and Employee Retention
When employees, managers, and senior executives are engaged rather than avoidant, this is where the magic happens. Suddenly businesses experience heightened levels of employee satisfaction and productivity that meet business needs.
Morale increases because people want to come to work, do a good job, and share that with others. Employees take pride in their work, have a sense of accomplishment, and feel like they are part of a team and mission. When hiring time comes around, people will be lining up to apply.
Communicating Efficiently Means More Productive Meetings
Communication also goes hand in hand with leadership. Meetings run smoothly and efficiently with aligned communication among team members and managers. As a result, everyone understands their responsibilities and has the opportunity to contribute.
When you ask questions, allow others to provide input, and employ active listening, you keep everyone engaged and maximize the time spent together. After the metaphorical coffee and donuts are gone, everyone clicks out of a productive meeting, knowing the expectations.
It's kind of like how we check our credit card statements for receipts and when our online payments are due. We can make smart, informed decisions about our financial future when we know what is required.
Efficient Communication Prevents Confusion
Nothing causes more frustration in the workplace than when no one knows what exactly is expected of them in their assigned roles or what that role even entails. When no one knows what company guidelines or expectations are, it can create an atmosphere of confusion and chaos. Stress soars, and it can affect everyone in the company.
When we employ efficient communication, it leaves less room for error. This is critical, especially in larger organizations or enterprises where multiple departments and employees communicate. Using the proper communication software will allow teams to collaborate, share information and create records to ensure nothing gets lost in translation.
For example, sending your big eCommerce client redundant invoices can damage their trust (and seriously hurt your chances for freebies from their online store).
Creating Clear Expectations for Employees and Coworkers
Having regular check-ins and one-on-one meetings allows employees to receive clear guidance on a daily, weekly, or monthly basis. However, not all employees or managers may be naturally skilled communicators. Company leaders should look to communication software and tools that can help.
Making a Lasting Positive Impression With Effective Communication
Social intelligence, which is the ability to interact well with others, is one of our society's most challenging yet most necessary skills. Have you ever come out of a meeting feeling energized and inspired? That sounds like engaging and infectious communication at work!
Positive energy is infectious and inspiring. When employees feel inspired, it has a ripple effect across the organization. Plus, by actively listening and valuing others' contributions, you can make a lasting positive impression on your team where there is trust, and they look forward to one-on-one and team meetings.
Virtual Communication Coaching
Regardless of how skilled you might be at efficiently communicating, everyone can benefit from virtual communication coaching. Just like how your soccer coach showed you how to dribble and your math tutor explained the quadratic formula, coaches are here to guide us through the tricky spots.
Now in this digital age, our coaches are remote… just like we are.
A Program That Analyzes the Way You Talk
When we say that someone has notable poise, we mean they command a room. They are elegant, graceful, and display a constant steadfast aura that puts us all at ease. This notion is the essence of Poised.
Poised is a business software that will listen to your online meetings and provide feedback in real-time with discrete notifications only perceptible to you. This can help you make adjustments as needed to improve your communication skills for the long haul.
Poised analyzes your speech and video in meetings and presentations along critical dimensions such as clarity, confidence, speaking pace, and percentage of contributions.
Coaching for Better Body Language
Body language can help get your message across and make your audience feel at ease regarding efficient communication. Eye contact, hand gestures, and tone of voice all paint the picture for the message you're trying to convey.
It can be difficult to reference your non-verbal communication practices objectively.
Because Poised operates in real-time, it provides coaching that can help you break habits such as wandering eyes, monotone voice, or unnecessarily touching your face.
Learning To Stop Rambling
Rambling is a habit that can happen when the speaker is nervous, and as a result, their heart-rate speeds up, and they trip over their words. Another common area of weakness people have with rambling is filler words. These are words such as "uh, um, like, well, you know, and literally."
Poised will observe your speech for rambling and filler words as well. Poised listens to you and only you, so your coworkers will not know you're using it.
Fixing Your Camera Position on Virtual Meetings
In virtual settings, we sometimes have no idea that our camera position affects how others view us on their screens in the meeting room. Things like too much light or not enough, too close or too far away, can impede our message.
Poised will notify you when you need to make the necessary adjustments to your camera position. (Although, sadly, Poised does not yet offer fashion tips.)
Speaking at the Right Pace
Speaking at the right pace ensures you aren't rambling and that others can hear and understand you. On the other hand, slowing things down gives others time to digest your message. Everything takes practice, just like your math homework and soccer drop-kick.
Small Pointers Can Make a Big Difference
Effective communication is the oxygen of any large or small business, acing an interview and even having a family Zoom call. Sharpening your communication skills can lead to career mobility and enhanced productivity. It can even create virtual bonds that tie you together for life.
With Poised, you don't have to worry about not receiving timely or accurate feedback due to a virtual environment. Poised allows you to choose what type of real-time feedback you receive.
Choose to learn more about pace, clarity, confidence, energy, filler words, and more. With instant feedback, you get the benefits of a face-to-face conversation with all the comforts of wearing your pajamas.
A snapshot of a new working-from-home economy | Stanford News
How to Overcome the Barriers that Destroy Communication | Inc.com
How Collaboration Technologies Can Help Improve Productivity | CMS Wire
Never Want To Go Back To The Office? Here's Where You Should | Forbes