Tools to overcome communication barriers to productivity
Employees use multiple tools like email, chat, audio/video calls etc for their day-to-day communication. However, they are often bombarded with communications and relevant data is lost in the shuffle. If the team members within an organization have difficulty in communicating with each other, it would affect the morale of the team, resulting in higher employee turnover, loss of talented employees and decreased productivity.
Companies must first focus on the communication barriers and come up with a strategy to use the right communication tools and technology to assist in overcoming these challenges.
We have identified 6 communication barriers that every company could be facing.
6 communication barriers
1. Avoid chat-focused tools
Communication tools like Slack and Microsoft Teams are chat focused. A common grouse against these tools is you can get stuck in long and never-ending group chats that demand your attention 24/7. It puts pressure on you to be online & available all the time. This can get even more stressful as chat messages in channels can mix up many related topics making it hard to understand the context of the discussion.
2. Avoid chat channels
Most of the group chat happens through channels that are rigid. Once a channel is created and group members added, all the group members see all the chats whether it pertains to them or not. As a result, users are overwhelmed reading a constant stream of messages peripherally related to their day-to-day work. Managing this multi-channel communication ineffectively often leads to miscommunication and confusion.
3. Always communicate in ‘context’
Communication has no meaning without context. This is especially true when teams connect with each other & customers via multiple channels — such as email, social media, chat, etc. Information that is related across different communication medium stands isolated and context gets lost. This can get even more stressful as chat messages in channels can mix up many related topics making it hard to understand the context of the discussion. Without context there is no understanding leading to miscommunication or multiple iterations to get the message across. Use communication tools that will help you to communicate in ‘context’.
4. Stop using multiple apps
Companies often deploy too many apps, each for a specialized purpose. A Pegasystems Inc study found that an employee on average switches between 35 job-critical applications more than 1,100 times every day. You might be using different apps for email, chat, social feeds, meetings, events, reminders, cloud storage etc. This creates communication silos as information will be spread across multiple apps. Due to this, every team member spends most of his/her time in searching for information rather than doing productive work.
5. Avoid toggling
Even if you do stay on top of everything using multiple apps, toggling between all those apps takes time and zaps your productivity, especially if you have to log in and out of each app. Nearly 31% of respondents said toggling between apps affected their focus and productivity.
6. Have all information in one place
Having all the communication in one place and organized will help companies to boost employees’ productivity. For most of the companies, knowledge is hidden in their emails, group chats and other artifacts shared between the employees.
Tools to improve communication
With the right tools, you can easily streamline business communication. We have identified 10 tools that will help you to easily overcome communication barriers in the workplace, increase employee productivity, boost employee engagement, streamline daily operations, and so much more.
To overcome communication barriers at workplace, you need a unified communication system that can combine all your communications from emails, chats, calls, documents in cloud storage and to-dos in one app and arrange them based on topic or context. So, whenever you want to refer to any conversation or file, you should be able to retrieve it a few seconds.
Clariti combines all your communications from emails, chats, calls, documents in cloud storage, and to-dos in one app and links all related information in a TopicFolder. For every context, a new thread is created and all the relevant information is linked and stored automatically. TopicFolder not only makes communication faster, it also eliminates the need to search for any information and the stress that comes with it.
Clariti is free and ideal for small and medium businesses to boost team communication and drive productivity. It is securely hosted on Amazon Web Services, providing total reliability, 100% uptime and trusted security of all your workday data.
Like other chat tools mentioned in this blog, Flowdock provides real-time chat for teams. Flows are the heart of Flowdock, they are open spaces for teams to converse and collaborate. The key differentiator in Flowdock is the integrations of third-party apps. Integrations are available for project management, software version control, customer support, and software deployment monitoring among other applications commonly used by software development companies.
Spike focuses on the idea of conversational email. Repeating headers, signatures, and threads make email hard to read. Spike claims to clear the clutter and transform the email to a real time chat that’s easy to read. Spike’s intelligent priority inbox removes distractions by making important messages visible first, while low priority messages are removed to the side for later.
Crugo is an all in one, secure communication platform that increases team productivity by streamlining communications and organizing them more effectively. Crugo provides businesses with the ability to instant message in real time, share files, maintain task lists, organize and store files, share calendars and monitor RSS news feeds all in a single tool, available cross-platform.
Using AlertMedia you can engage in secure, real-time, two-way interactions with any size audience over any channel, to any device, anywhere in the world in a matter of seconds. AlertMedia’s easy-to-use interface enables you to communicate with your employees and associated audiences via text, voice, email, app push notifications, social, conference call, and custom channels while getting real-time reports and insight. AlertMedia is modern, reliable, and secure.
Beekeeper is a group communication platform that is designed to make daily work life easier for frontline employees. This software is ideal for any internal communication including corporate, department, and 1:1 communication. The mobile-first platform allows teams to instantly connect across languages, shifts, and locations for real-time communication anytime, anywhere.
Axero is a group Communication Software that empowers your workforce from anywhere. Using Axero you can communicate with your team, share & manage company knowledge, accelerate collaboration, and create a culture of transparency & trust. Streamline projects with one easy-to-access hub designed to unite & engage your employees.
Yammer revolutionizes internal communications by bringing together all employees inside a private and secure enterprise social network. Connect with people across your organization to make better decisions, faster. Allows all employees to know what’s happening day-to-day as well as build on the work of others. Employees will be able to create groups relevant to work and other interests, along with keeping documents or photos in context while still discussing things online.
Noodle is an all-in-one communication tool that provides a wide array of functionality. Noodle offers local or cloud deployment, role-based permissions, 14 integrated applications, forms & workflows all with single-sign-on user management.
Connecteam’s communication app was designed and built especially for mobile employees. Connecteam is packed with tools that will enhance every communication in your business: newsletters, announcements, chat, employee directory, updates, surveys, suggestion box, and more. Engage your team like never before, reflect your company’s culture, and solidify your employer branding with Connecteam’s employee communication and engagement app.
With these tools you will easily be able to break your communication barriers, boost employee morale, increase employee engagement and improve productivity.