Once you’ve mastered these tools, you’re likely to see increased productivity as well as a host of other benefits.
Ways that collaboration tech can help your business grow
How can you measure growth in your small business?
Firstly, more regular and informal communication helps staff productivity. Instead of having to store up their ideas for a weekly meeting, they can pop them in a shared space as quickly as they pop into their head. This spontaneity allows other users to build on an idea straight away or think about it and respond later – either in the document or in a face-to-face meeting.
With the ability to see responses in real-time, problems can be addressed much faster too. These speedy processes will allow businesses greater output at an increased pace.
It also lends itself to your employees’ career growth. Enhanced efficiency gives them more time to develop their skillset by going to conferences or training courses, for example. A business owner or manager can also use these tools to reward staff. Some apps let you assign and receive points to help staff work towards rewards. You can tailor these to your team, offering rewards like gym discounts and shopping vouchers.
The gig economy is a lesser known growth prospect. The ability to share documents means that relevant people have easy access to CVs and applications of freelance workers so that they can be consulted and called upon to cover a temporary need such as a large project.
What collaboration tools are out there?
To give you an idea of functionality, let’s look at a few collaboration tools:
A hub and tool that brings your employees together through conversation and shared content in a single interface.
Yammer is a social networking service used privately within organisations. Access is based on a user’s internet domain and email address.
Delve manages your Office 365 profile to discover and organise information, meaning that the most interesting information for you appears at the top of your feed. You can also click on a fellow user’s name or picture to see what projects they’re working on and learn more about them.
Trello is a collaborative task management platform that lets users see what projects are being proposed and worked as well as the ones that are finished.
Like Trello, Asana helps teams to manage their workflow. Users can add Asana projects to group chats and speak to teammates about a project they’re assigned to and when it’s due.
The critical thing to growing any business is to have effective channels and methods of communication.
At Voquent, we’re able to communicate with each other using Teams, whether we’re all in the office at the same time or somebody is remotely.
Each one of these Teams channels provides the opportunity to communicate on an informal basis. Whoever contributes isn’t telling everybody to stop what they’re doing right at that moment to throw up impossibly good ideas.
It allows everyone to keep an eye on the Teams channels that they’re part of and contribute to them.
Improving our social media offering
Teams has been very effective for us, particularly when it comes to the brainstorming aspects of certain channels. We have a channel called Social Collective because every company has their own social media strategy.
In other firms, someone will be in the marketing department tasked with trying to engage with or make relevant noises on their social media channels. So, you get this slurry of snippets coming out from a company but not a great deal of engagement.
‘To make sure we’re coming out with posts that are fresh and interesting, we engage on the Social Collective channel of our Teams groups’
We have a different approach to how we use social. In order to engage with our users, we communicate with people, we like their stuff, we share their stuff. To make sure we’re always coming out with posts that are fresh and interesting and not just a corporate monologue, we all engage on the Social Collective channel of our Teams groups. We’ll come up with ideas we think are interesting or topical or funny.
Social media is more personal. You can still be intimate by injecting humour and love and passion into what you do – that’s all pooled collectively. Obviously, Teams isn’t going to give us the ideas, but it certainly gives us a structured sounding board for collecting those ideas.
Measures of growth
The only way you can measure business growth directly against the use of products like Teams is to equate the increased efficiency of your organisation across the board.
It’s a tough question as there isn’t an exact science behind it. However, I think the results of how quickly you’re able to post more on social media are apparent – that’s just one measurement. We’re also able to quickly progress through tasks in certain marketing campaigns.
It’s because we’re communicating as and when rather than in a formal manner.
The ability to make calls is great. If I want to have a formal conversation with someone off the back of an informal chat – say a payment comes through for a project that we were waiting for before we could get started – I can initiate a phone call through Teams.
I feel it would be a massive blow to our business to be without it.