Over the last decade, we have witnessed a revolution in the world of internal communications. In the blink of an eye, mobile phones became common and popular for virtually everyone. And not just in our personal lives.
Business operations have changed dramatically, from day-to-day tasks to internal communication to customer satisfaction, and more – it could all be done with the click of a button and even on the go.
Employees and managers that were once unconnected and unreachable now had the ability to remain connected in real-time. This made a huge impact on productivity and engagement. Today it’s hard to imagine that employees and managers were once only able to meet face-to-face, after that, they were all on their own. If anything changed, if an incident occurred, or a huge sale happened, employees and managers had to wait until the end of the day just to communicate any of these instances.
But now, mobile phones are the main tool in our everyday life. It’s the easiest way for managers to reach their employees and manage their day-to-day business needs. Think about it: how many phone calls do you answer or make yourself on a daily basis? Research says you’re either making a call or are answering one around three times per hour.
But after almost a decade of relying on our phones for everyday tasks, we can also see the downside of this connectivity. Especially when it comes to endless phone calls.
If you’re not totally convinced, just read on as highlight the downside of phone calls, especially its negative impact on productivity. But, there is a solution and we get into that in just a bit.
How Phone Calls Harm Productivity
1. Phone Calls Are Disruptive
An unplanned call pulls you away from what you and your employee are trying to accomplish and if that’s not the definition of productivity loss, we don’t know what is. In fact, an unplanned call takes a full 23 minutes to recover from. Every time you call your employee, you’re causing them to stop whatever task they’re on and it takes them longer to get back to it.
2. Timing Is Everything
There are a hundred reasons why calls go unanswered, either you’re in a meeting or your employee is with a customer. Think about it, how many times in a day are your employees trying to reach you without success? And how many times are you trying to reach them? This endless game of phone-tag only eats up your time.
3. Pictures Are Worth A Thousand Words
Unfortunately, when you’re on a phone call, you’re only limited to verbal communication. It can be really hard to fully explain something when a picture can do the job far more efficiently. For example, letting a customer know how the project you hired them to complete is going, the status of your cleaning job, an unexpected problem during a construction gig, the extent of your work accident, and so on.
4. Sharing & Receiving Information
What happens if the easy, quick task turns to be complex and time-consuming? You might need to make multiple phone calls just to share simple information and come up with a solution. What about sharing the details of an upcoming company event? Or drilling into safety policies after an accident?
Sure, you can schedule a conference call or bring everyone to the same location to be able to communicate all of this. However, coordinating these events is a hassle because no one day or single time will work across the board. You will only find yourself chasing after everyone who missed the call or couldn’t make it to the meeting to make sure they’re in the loop; and just like that, a whole day or even a week is wasted!
Additionally, your employees don’t have an easy, real-time solution to be able to share information with you either.
5. Data Is Unstructured
Let’s say someone called you to report a broken lamp in the store and needs it fixed within two days. Then you hang up the phone but realize you forgot to ask what type of lamp it is and when can the repairman can come to the store. Now you have to call your employee again to get all the information, once this is done and you call the repairman, you see that you are still missing information so you need to call the employee again. The cycle continues over and over. This is what happens when the information is unstructured.
6. Priorities Are Nonexistent
You don’t always have the ability to decide what is more important when it comes to phone calls. For example, going through a dozen emails can be easier to prioritize based on the subject line or who it’s from. But when a call comes in, if it’s a recognized number, you don’t know what the urgency of the call is. Maybe it’s your boss just checking in or maybe you’re waiting on the crew to show up to the job site but they’re stuck in traffic or it’s just a spam call. Unless you answer at that exact moment and stop what you’re doing, you don’t have any way to know if you need to answer the call right away or if it can wait.
7. There Aren’t Any Records
Because nothing is recorded, when you need to retrieve information from a call that happened three days ago, you can’t. No analytics exists to show you what the subject matter of the call was. And if you aren’t taking notes of every call as they come in, you won’t be able to easily recollect the information at a glance.
Now, here’s the thing. We recognize that phone calls are here to stay, especially as more workers are making the switch to remote work and video calls seem to be the new norm. But knowing the problems associated with phone calls, business owners and managers are turning to more modern solutions, like business communication solutions to ensure efficiency and productivity.
What Are Business Communication Solutions?
When you equip your company and employees with business communication solutions, you are better able to enhance efficiency, boost employee engagement, and improve knowledge sharing among your team.
But, okay, what are business communication solutions? Business communication solutions allow you to share information and collaborate with your employees from anywhere and at any time. Don’t just think of business communication solutions as a mechanism to enhance internal communication but as a way to also streamline task management, handle report management, discuss work schedules, manage payroll processing and so much more.
Recognizing the above, many are choosing Connecteam as their business communication solution as it’s an all-in-one employee management app.
Connecteam’s communication features ensure company transparency, offer a feedback mechanism to engage employees with surveys and live polls and include a single place to collaborate, manage tasks, and more.
Features Needed In Business Communication Solutions
1. Chat: For Group Messaging & Media Sharing
We pointed out three pain points of phone calls in the blog – they’re disruptive, missed calls are endless, and pictures are crucial – and a business communication solution, like chat, can help to diminish or remove all three of these problems. Instead of disrupting your employees with a phone call, simply send them a message via a chat app so they can continue to work and are not stopping what they’re doing to answer you. If an employee receives a push notification, they may also stop what they are doing. However, it’s a small interruption compared to a phone call which requires you to almost completely stop what you’re doing or simply takes way too much of your concentration.
Instead of engaging in a game of phone-tag, again you can easily send a group chat to relay whatever you need. You can also quickly send a photo, video, or location to your manager or employee when relevant instead of spending time on a call when a picture is worth a thousand words.
Chat makes internal communication simple; easily create team chats or start a one-on-one dialogue to save time and avoid productivity loss. Connecteam is an online business communication solution that features advanced management tools built especially for in-organizational use; create surveys, a suggestion box, an employee directory, and more.
2. Digital Online Forms: To Gain Structured Data & History Access
Think back to the example we gave: if an employee contacts you about a broken lamp in the store. Instead of them calling you, they can simply open a pre-made digital report on the business communication solution app and fill in all relevant information, you can even get a digital signature. This saves both of you time and ensures no information is missing, plus you have a history of all entries ever made.
Business communication solutions should make it easy to create a form, report, or checklist. With Connecteam, you can start from scratch or edit an existing template and choose from various field options, like free text, multiple-choice, image uploads, documents scanner, digital signature, GPS location, and much more, especially for mobile devices.
3. Updates: To Remain Connected In Real-Time
Send an immediate update with a push notification to easily reach all of your employees with or without the ability for user comments. This way, your employees get the information they need when they need it, and you can easily track the engagement rates and know exactly who viewed your update and when. Most business communication solutions nowadays are cloud-based, so you’ll history embedded into all features, that way no data is lost.
The Bottom Line On Business Communication Solutions
The goal of these business communication solutions is to help you and your employees streamline communication, spend less time on phone calls, and improve productivity. A manager’s dream.
It doesn’t matter if you are a manager of a large business or a mom-and-pop business, internal communication is at the forefront of success and satisfaction. And with business communication solutions, managing internal communication is an easier process.
Streamline Communication With Connecteam
A wide set of capabilities in one communication tool built and designed for the deskless workforce.