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Business + IT Insights

Technology Tools You Need To Maximize Collaboration In The Workplace

Posted by Dave Lazor on Thu, Sep 25, 2014

486140535Professional efforts have a more pronounced impact when teams realize their full potential by banding together. Today's technology is changing how and where we collaborate to divide and conquer business objectives.

Are your employees taking advantage of the technology tools available to them for maximizing workplace efficiency and collaboration?

The Benefits of A Collaborative Workplace

  1. Increase In Innovation
    Imagine channeling the knowledge and effort of an entire team into a single project. What would you get? Faster turnaround times. More products delivered to market. The ability of team members to learn more quickly. Collaboration is especially vital for small and mid-sized businesses because it allows them to rival the pace of global organizations.

  2. Support Of Individual & Team Goals
    Collaboration creates cross-training opportunities and enhances cross-functional skills. Individuals build on current strengths while developing new ones. Growing teams are better positioned to complement and supplement one another’s skills. Stronger teams make for even stronger companies.

  3. Improved Employee Retention
    Through collaboration, everyone's strengths are fully realized. People like doing what they're good at. Contributing to an end goal makes them feel valuable to the organization and enhances their participation in the company mission.

  4. Enhanced Sense Of Community
    The number of remote workers is only increasing in today’s modern world. For these workers, and the rest of us, collaboration is key. The right technology tools give managers insight into productivity. They help employees stay connected to the culture and engaged in their work.

A real-world example: Sales requires the strengths of several people. Some individuals are good at generating and nurturing leads. Others excel at conducting sales meetings and closing deals. Still others are best at managing the prospect-to-customer process through CRM software. These closely linked responsibilities are only enhanced through the right communication tools, but without them, the result is fumbled opportunities.

What Technology Tools Do You Need To Succeed?

Collaboration needs structure. Employees need the right tools for the right purposes:

  1. Instant Messaging: For simple questions requiring simple answers. This tool lessens the interruption of longer face-to-face interaction.

  2. Video Conferencing & Screen Sharing: For remote employee interactions (because engagement and involvement are key) or in place of face-to-face meetings. Screen sharing enhances communications and streamlines spur-of-the-moment presentations and walk-throughs.

  3. Email: For communicating logistics regarding scheduling meetings, sharing data between the team before and after meetings and disseminating general company information, like notice of a prospect visit or an on-site sales presentation.

  4. Social Intranet: For general company communications, employee accolades and event notices.

  5. Phone: For detailed explanations and questions requiring collaborative thought when a face-to-face meeting is not feasible.

  6. Face-To-Face: For any brainstorming sensitive meetings, such as one-on-ones between managers and employees, as well as sales presentations, employee candidate interviews.

Where To Start?

At first glance, it might seem impossible to provide each of these tools to every employee in your organization, not to mention expensive. And with all of the options available to you these days, how do you choose? Lucky for you, Microsoft offers a simple, integrated solution to help initiate collaboration and allow meetings to run more smoothly.

While your competitors are busy trying out beta software as they count pennies, you’ll save time using familiar Microsoft Office tools – not only getting work done, but also collaborating with your customers, partners and suppliers. After all, one billion people worldwide now use Microsoft Office.

The Secret Behind Maximizing Collaboration

Cloud solutions like Office 365 make accessing tools and applications from anywhere possible. For employees working on a single document or file from multiple devices, cloud technology allows for enhanced, stable collaboration.

Adopt new collaboration tools to begin seeing the effects of streamlined success. Remember to add incentives in order to gain workplace acceptance of new tools. In order for this type of collaboration to work, everyone needs to play an active part.

Are your current technology tools enhancing your company’s ability to collaborate, or are they limiting your success? Discuss your current capabilities and technology opportunities with an expert.

Start Brainstorming with a PointMan

Tags: cloud computing, business technology

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