People just don’t talk to each other like they used to. The IT sector is just one of many industries which is being affected by poor employee relations and communication. Lack of communication between departments, and sometimes even within the same department, is a major factor in businesses failing or not gaining the full output and profit they deserve.
The increase in working remotely just increases this problem further. So what can we do to improve employee relations? We have to try and talk face to face more often even if it’s digitally. Email and chat are convenient but they can’t be the only way we communicate.
Video conferencing can help solve the problem. Live meetings can help all types businesses ranging from start-ups to giant corporations. Here are a few ways live online meetings can improve communication.
1. Reach Out to the Global Workplace
The remote workplace is on the rise with increasing numbers of companies relying on employees working from home, on a freelance basis, or from various places around the globe. There are numerous financial, environmental, and personal benefits to this, but one disadvantage is that it decreases workplace culture.
This doesn’t just mean chats in the break room, water cooler moments, or showing each other the latest YouTube video. It also means less bonding which is important for team building and a productive workplace. But companies can still have the best of both worlds.
Forbes says that getting to know individuals is one of the best ways for a leader to build a good team. Video conferencing software can help teams get to know each other on both a personal and professional level wherever they’re located.
The latest technology is also flexible enough for people to communicate with each other from a distance in a variety of ways, including text chat, video chat, group meetings, and sharing files. As well as video meetings, you could also schedule regular virtual meet-ups for remote employees to build relations with each other. It’s not the same as meeting in person but it is the next best thing.
2. Video and File Sharing
As mentioned above, video chats aren’t the only method of virtual communication. You can also record your online meetings, save them, and e-mail them to any relevant parties. You can send these clips to anybody who might have missed an important meeting and needs to catch up, those in different time zones for instance. It is a much more personal and enjoyable method of catching up on work than reading an e-mail and ensures that nobody is left behind.
3. Virtual Team Building
Building a strong team is important in any job, but it takes time. Team building exercises can take time away from working and eat into a company’s overhead costs. The ‘actual’ method of team building is the most effective, using real world scenarios rather than classroom style or experimental training.
A sports team doesn’t train by doing team building exercises, they do it by practising hard every day. Similarly, a much better option to building a strong work team is to simply keep the lines of communication open while working, even if you are working in different locations.
Use your video conferencing software to chat with various members of your team and live stream your work with each other as you do it. People can even use their smartphones or tablets if they need to. Just strive to have a healthy balance. People do need some privacy to work. Nobody wants to feel like they are being spied on all the time. But at other times talking with each other, sharing problems and solving them together works if you are far apart from each other. Live streams can be saved as well for easy access later.
4. Keep Customers and Clients in the Loop
If your have projects that involve communicating or collaborating with your customers or clients, video conferencing is another great tool for keeping up with them. If they can’t be in the meeting room with you, then you can send them a virtual invite to an online meeting and collaborate with them through a webcam, much as you do with your colleagues.
This way all relevant parties feel included and you can deliver to them exactly what they need and receive honest feedback. This also works much better than pitching them something they don’t like and having to go back and re-do the whole thing, costing everybody time and money.
Using all of these methods will make all employees, no matter how far apart they are, happy, productive, and willing to stay in their jobs. Even in the global workplace, communication is more important than ever to keep companies going strong so use the tools available to you and your company will not only survive but excel.