In a company, it is always important that employees stay in touch with supervisors and managers using employee communication tools. It isn’t surprising though that many companies fail to recognize the vital role that these tools play in ensuring business flow. The only way organizational digital transformation can be achieved is if everyone in the company is informed and understands his role in the workplace.
It is a good idea to examine ways by which employee communication tools can be used to harness employee productivity and allow management to lead the company.
What Are Employee Communication Tools?
Basically, employee communication tools are software applications that allow rank-and-file employees to stay in touch with their work team, supervisors and managers throughout a project. That’s a general way to look at it. Sometimes these tools are dubbed “business communication tools” instead, but they mean the same thing. These tools can be focused on certain parts of the business operation so that team members will be able to carry out their work function smoothly.
Carry on to see what are the necessary parts of an employee communication app and how they help improve business operations.
Basic Parts of Employee Communication Tools
- Messaging – Communication is the process between a message sender and a message receiver. So it is always important to start with a messaging function. This means every member of a team will be able to message other team members, especially supervisors and managers, regarding progress on a task. This covers employment-related matters. It also means members will be able to do audio calls and video calls to each other, where necessary.
- File Sharing – As part of work, it is vital for team members to be able to conduct File Sharing functions so that everyone in the team is kept in the collaboration loop.
- Internal Communication – This means people within one team will communicate with each other for the coordination of work efforts. It may also mean communication between teams or departments of the same company.
- External Communication – This refers to communication with people who are not part of the workforce of a particular company. They are, however, necessary recipients of external messaging if a business is to make progress. This includes suppliers and clients or customers.
Choosing the Medium for Employee Communication
- Management Informs Employees About the Necessity of That Medium – No tool will function well, even if it is imposed by management unless rank-and-file employees will know the reason behind the use of that medium. Once both management and employees understand and accept the “why” behind the choice of medium, then business success becomes achievable.
- Management Encourages Collaboration Between Teams – It is important for teams to be allowed and even urged to collaborate with one another. This discourages the “us-against-them” rivalries that often derail business efforts. It is also important for personality conflicts to be minimized (since it is impossible to completely eliminate that). The medium/tool is only as successful as the employees’ intent and motivation directs it to function.
- Medium Eliminates Conflicts Due to Time Difference and Team Priorities – Management always tries to find the right business tool to cut down on internal conflicts. Internal conflict crops up when each team maintains its own priorities based on the time allotted to them by management. There has to be a give-and-take relationship between teams if the business is ever to succeed. The medium that is chosen only facilitates that.
- Management Sets Up A Feedback Mechanism – The particular software chosen for employee communication remains a management prerogative because most of the time it is the employer that pays for the cost of employee communication tools. However, it is important to accept feedback from employee teams regarding the effectiveness and efficiency of the medium chosen. After all, it is the ordinary employees who will be using it and can speak about the pros and cons of using that tool for work.
- Management Should Listen When Teams Give Feedback – The communication stream may be overwhelming but generally management is expected to pay attention to employee feedback about team tasks and progress. Managers might not be aware of problems on the ground and only keep an eye on deadlines. So managers should learn how to translate feedback into progress so that deadlines will be achievable too.
Employee communication tools do indeed support business-related tasks. However, this depends much on which employee communication tool is being used, and who is using it. Management is responsible for the choice of the tool, but it is the rank-and-file employees who will determine how it will be used. Thus, for the benefit of employees, supervisors, and managers alike, it is vital that management dictates how to optimize the employee communication tool selected so that it becomes the right medium for business-related tasks and functions.