It’s impossible to accomplish customer-facing objectives and growth initiatives if you don’t have your internal stakeholders all on the same page. Unfortunately, many organizations lack the internal collaboration and healthy communication needed to succeed in these areas. Could your business use some improvement on this front?
The Importance of Internal Collaboration
You have an intuitive understanding of the importance of internal collaboration. But to fully commit time, resources, and strategic vision to this aspect of your business, it’s helpful to get clear on the proverbial nuts and bolts.
According to a study by Towers Watson, organizations with highly effective communication practices enjoy 47 percent higher returns to shareholders compared to organizations that have poor communication.
But wait…there’s more.
“Improved internal communication doesn’t only affect your returns to shareholders, it can also increase employee engagement, build stronger teams, and enhance the competitiveness of your company,” Weekdone explains. “Effective internal communication practices help you increase productivity, build a better workplace, and reduce day-to-day conflict between team members.”
In other words, internal collaboration impacts every aspect of your business from the inside-out. And if you want your business to grow, you must ensure you have a strategy that’s firing on all cylinders.
4 Ways You Can Improve Your Internal Collaboration
No two organizations have an identical internal collaboration or communications strategy. Every company must analyze its own unique circumstances and tailor a plan to these strengths, weaknesses, and nuances. Having said that, here are a few options you may find helpful:
- Use an Email Alternative
At one time, email was billed as an efficient mode of communication. It allowed you to share a message with someone else without picking up the phone and wasting time with small talk, pleasantries, and hold times. But over the years, email has strayed from its original point of emphasis and become a highly distracting force within the modern office.
Research shows that office workers now receive an average of 121 emails per day. And out of those 121 emails, 40 of these messages require some sort of response. That’s a lot of noise to sift through just to identify what’s important. And if your employees are like most, it’s wearing them thin.
While email is still an important communication tool in outward-facing situations, your organization could benefit from switching to a different medium for internal collaboration. A chat solution such as Slack, for example, is seen as much more efficient. It’s designed for quick, short messages and doesn’t have nearly the distractions that an email platform does.
- Leverage Online Dashboards
Do you ever feel like your organization is swimming in data? If so, you aren’t alone. It’s a common problem for businesses in today’s climate. It’s become incredibly easy and effortless to collect data, but it’s not always clear how to interpret the data without becoming overwhelmed by unnecessary information.
One suggestion is to leverage online dashboards to create a consolidated and singular platform where everyone can benefit from having access to the same insights and information in real-time.
- Invest in an Intranet
Digital fragmentation is a real problem in growing companies. Tools, solutions, and software get added daily. And while there are useful features in most of these technologies, the rapidly compounding effect ultimately leads to disarray. And with each passing day, it becomes less clear where employees should go to find certain information, communicate with team members, or access integral resources.
Any time you can invest in a solution that replaces three, four, or even five other tools, it’s a no-brainer. And that’s precisely what an intranet solution can do for your business. Depending on the one you go with, an intranet can act as a centralized platform for communicating, sharing files, storing files, and managing projects. It’s a no-brainer!
- Change the Culture
Finally, you need to prioritize internal collaboration on a person to person level. Make sure employees understand what you expect from them on an individual basis. From what they communicate to how it’s communicated, specificity will help your team tackle what can easily be seen as a “vague” issue.
Set Your Business Up for Success
At the heart of any successful business is healthy internal collaboration. And by rethinking how you approach collaboration within your organization, you can systematically reshape your business from the inside-out. From email alternatives and online dashboards to intranets and culture changes, small changes today can yield major returns for years to come.