17 August 2023
Enhancing Business Communication for Success
In today’s fast-paced business world, effective communication plays a crucial role in the success of any organisation. The rise of advanced technology has given businesses access to a wide range of tools and platforms that can greatly improve communication and collaboration among teams. In this article we will explore how to leverage technology for better business communication and the specific tools and methods that can make a significant impact.
Choosing the Right Communication Tools
In modern business environments, there are various communication tools available, and selecting the right one for the task is essential. Here are some common tools and when to use them:
Email: Email serves as an ideal platform communicating decisions, confirming agreements, documenting important conversations, and sending less time-sensitive messages to a wide audience, whether within the company or to customers.
Phone: A call is also great when a discussion is likely to involve a lot of questions or details or will be complicated. It is also a strong contender when you need to discuss something personal or of high importance, or when you want to build a relationship in a way that email simply can’t support.
Chat/Instant Message: When seeking a swift response to a straightforward query, an instant message (IM) is quicker than an email and less disruptive than a phone call. Whether you’re inquiring about a task’s status, scheduling a meeting, or aiming to casually share something, an IM serves as a convenient method for accomplishing the task at hand.
Meetings / Video Conferencing: Be it face-to-face or through virtual video platforms, meetings shine when the goal is to collaboratively brainstorm a subject, devise strategic plans, or assemble a team to address challenges. Similarly, presentations maintain their effectiveness when participants can engage and seek clarification, enabling presenters to receive instant input.
Collaboration Platforms: Tools such as Microsoft Teams or Slack excel in cultivating teamwork, empowering team participants to cooperate on assignments, exchange files, and engage in targeted conversations within designated channels. Most Microsoft 365 applications now offer the capability to insert comments, respond, and mention other users, triggering automatic email notifications for them.
Projects: Knowing When Something is Too Big for Chat/Tasks:
Chat and task management tools are incredibly useful for smaller projects and quick updates. However, it’s vital to understand when a project has grown too intricate to be effectively managed through these channels. Here are indicators that a project may have outgrown chat or task lists:
High Number of Participants: If a project involves a large number of team members, it may become difficult to track progress and communicate effectively through chat alone.
Multiple Subtasks and Dependencies: Complex projects often have interdependent tasks, and managing them solely through chat or task lists might lead to confusion and missed deadlines.
Long Duration: If a project extends over a long period, essential information and updates might get buried in chat logs or task lists.
Smaller projects may find Microsoft Planner suitable, but for larger and more complex endeavours, transitioning to a dedicated project management platform like Microsoft Project is advisable. These platforms offer advanced features such as project planning, scheduling, collaborative tools, time tracking, reporting, milestone and phase tracking, and billing capabilities. This ensures that your project is efficiently and effectively managed.
Managing Issues, Ideas, and Opportunities:
A Planner tool can be incredibly useful for managing issues, brainstorming new ideas, and exploring opportunities. By creating separate boards or sections, teams can track and discuss:
Issues: Log and assign problems that need to be resolved. This helps keep track of progress and ensures that nothing falls through the cracks.
Ideas: A dedicated space for brainstorming and sharing creative ideas. Collaborators can contribute, refine, and upvote the most promising ideas.
Opportunities: Use this space to explore potential business opportunities, partnerships, or innovations that could benefit the company.
Microsoft Tasks is highly effective for instances involving meetings or ideas requiring subsequent actions or implementation. Assigning clear action items and setting due dates to individuals will enhance visibility and serve as a reminder.
Effective technology plays a pivotal role in enhancing business communication. By choosing the right communication tools, implementing efficient information-sharing methods, and using dedicated platforms for projects and planning, organisations can foster better collaboration, improve decision-making processes, and boost overall productivity. Embracing these technological advancements will undoubtedly give businesses a competitive edge and drive them towards success in the dynamic corporate landscape.