5 Communication Tools for your Business

technology communicationCommunication is key!

ComRes is a technology company, so obviously we are always interested in technology that we can deploy to communicate better with our employees, or implement for our customers to communicate with theirs.   There are too many methods to discuss in this newsletter but I want to highlight some that ComRes uses that we find successful, or ones we have seen our customers use.

1.Email – Good old email has lost its luster and sometimes gets a bad rap, but it is still a very effective tool to communicate written instructions and other information for non-time-sensitive communications.

2. Collaboration/Instant messaging – There are many desktop applications out there. One of the more popular ones is Skype for Business (formerly Microsoft Lync) for Microsoft shops.  It is an easy way to collaborate with others in your organization individually or in groups.  ComRes uses Mitel MiCollab since we are a Mitel dealer, and it includes the ability for instant messaging, web/audio collaboration, presence and other features.

3. Wallboards – we see this commonly with many customers. Some are very simple and contain only info on the company, future events, birthday/anniversary announcements, visitor welcome messages, etc.  Others are more advanced and appear as a news dashboard that may have sophisticated realtime company data such as sales information, service tickets opened/worked, response times or goal completion.  One included a key piece of data on how many days it had been since their coffee machine had not worked!

4. Smartphone apps – There are many good apps out there but one I want to highlight is WhatsApp.  This is a very nice social media tool and can be used to create groups where you communicate via group chat. You can upload photos, videos, etc.  We use it to communicate with each other for company events but there are other ways to use it.  There are also many enterprise applications like this that are used for projects such as Mitel’s MiTeam and Trello.

5. Whiteboards – Sometimes less is more.  On one recent visit, I saw a customer who had several whiteboards around their office.  These were used for employees to simply walk up and write down their favorite quotes/sayings, or express themselves in other ways.  I have seen variations of this where whiteboards were used to announce events, state personal goals or even a suggestion box.  This concept can be scary for risk-adverse companies in today’s politically correct, litigious society.  However, many successful companies have learned the importance of transparency and openness.  Enabling employees to express themselves in this matter allows them to be stakeholders in your company’s success.  It is something that ComRes plans on deploying this quarter.

How do you choose which technology to use?  Look for things that you thing best fit your company’s culture, core values and technical/financial limitations.  Talk to other companies on what they use, and don’t be afraid to get input from your employees.