My company is running just fine, thanks. Or is it?
Having a great workforce of talented individuals is only part of what makes a productive working environment. A huge amount of good work is owed to the culture of the workplace in which it happens. And how it facilitates the most efficient working environment possible.
The driving force behind technological advancement is the desire to make our lives easier, providing us with convenient shortcuts that save us time and energy. So why not use these tools at work too? Whatever your business, the more time spent being creative and making changes, the better things will be.
This could mean time spent talking to customers. Time spent getting feedback from the team on what could be improved or where investment is required. Saving time on functional tasks with the help of technology will open up schedules and allow your workforce to shine.
One of the best ways of getting more out of your workforce in terms of productivity, collaboration, ideas sharing and engagement is communication.
It’s got to be two way so that employees can contribute to conversation and projects as well as receive news and announcements. It’s got to be appropriate and interesting – make sure you’re telling people what they need to know and what is important to them. And it’s got to be easy to use. If people have to jump through hoops just to access the system to read a note or vote on something, then they just won’t bother.
There are a number of tools that enable workforce communication on a small and large scale.
Slack is a platform available across devices that enables colleagues to quickly message each other in real-time, as well as instantly create separate group chats for specific projects. It acts as a forum and message board for the office as a whole.
Yammer is an alternative that tends to be used on a larger scale.
StaffCircle is a particularly great communications tool for remote workforces that don’t typically sit at a computer all day. Based on Mobile Intranet, the information is easily accessible from mobile phone, PC, laptop or tablet.
You can also send rich content such as video, audio and file attachments quickly and easily, enabling anyone to create professional looking posts, and segment staff into teams to ensure content is sent to the right people every time.
There’s even the capability to send two-way urgent messages to groups of individuals.
Communication will certainly help people to better understand what they’re doing and why they’re doing it but you need the right people there in the first place. That’s where your HR team comes in. And the better equipped they are to do their jobs, the better results you’ll get.
After all, it doesn’t matter how many people are in your HR team – if your workforce is spread all of the country (or continent), no amount of man hours will do what is required. The manual recording of sick days and annual leave alone will drown them.
That’s why it’s a no brainer for businesses to automate this leave and sickness administration and let the individual and their manager record it. Thereby saving HR valuable time to get on with more important tasks. A tool like Zoho People will help you do this.
It’s also possible to track the happiness of your workforce digitally via workforce sentiment tools. StaffCircle lets staff quickly (and frequently) register their sentiment towards the company and their role so that your HR team can monitor at the click of a button and take immediate action, as and when required. It’s even possible to tack engagement by individual and by team.
This should help staff turnover – which is costly for businesses but in the cases where staff do leave, there are digital tools to make new employee onboarding easier too. StaffCircle’s Files & Folder feature provides employees with access to relevant personal information, company details and manuals, whenever they need them.
All of these tools will not only make your HR department more efficient, but your company as a whole.
Performance Management tools
The final piece of the puzzle for a powerful and efficient culture in your workplace is performance management tools. After all, these are what motivate and incentivise your staff to give you their best work.
Unlike in a small office-based business where the manager can see everyone’s input (and output) each day and can therefore review their work with ease, a remote workforce may not see their line manager for weeks on end which makes performance management very tricky.
Get yourself a personal management tool that gives every member of your staff their own objectives dashboard, that managers and individuals can access in real time. This in turn should make the objective setting and review processes very easy as the information is analysed and displayed on the dashboard itself. With StaffCircle’s system in particular, you can even build a leader board to see who is performing best and who needs assistance.
An alternative system is Appraisd which focuses entirely on the performance review cycle, and includes management of reviews, check-ins, appraisals and objective setting.
It’s all very well monitoring performance but you have to motivate people to work hard in the first place. StaffCircle has a points based Awards system and the recognition can range from a digital pat on-the-back to a promotion or company award. It can also manage the assignments of bonuses and commission.
Opting to use more digital tools in the workplace doesn’t mean compromising on the human element of your business. The digital tools mentioned above are just that - tools, to be used as a means to an end. Each tool has the power to make things run smoother, improve professional relationships, and boost the success of your business. Make things easier for yourself by utilising these digital aids, and you’ll have more time to focus on the exciting stuff, like growth. Good luck!