How many times have you thought, “Ugh, this meeting could easily have been an email.” The manager is droning on, it feels like your brains are draining out of your ears, and you’re thinking of what else you could be doing. We know how it feels. That’s why orderly internal communication channels are a must. With a few tweaks, you can prevent a lot of wasted time, effort, and talent.
One of the most important steps to getting workplace communication right is establishing consistent norms within the company that everyone understands. Some workplaces have an internal vocabulary naturally, full of industry acronyms. Sometimes it’s just fun. For example, at Office Accomplice, we use “swiping left,” meaning pushing aside tasks that we want to avoid for that moment. After a few swipes, it’s time to get up and get it done.
So, could this meeting have been an email? First, you need an order of escalation and a procedure for each step. This keeps things efficient and meaningful so that we can move along, get things done, and not hate each other. Also, define the kind of triggers for each step toward or away from a meeting.
Here’s what we recommend:
Use a Communication Platform
Use an internal communication platform like Slack. These platforms are good for sharing links, updates, and comments. You can make channels for each client or project, plus channels for people to write to each other. You can let the whole team see it, or just the people directly involved. People can even write to themselves.
Use Email Sparingly
We say this because threads are easily garbled, and information gets lost. You can use email for stuff like talking with clients, sharing files, and calendar invites. If you need collaboration, instead of starting an email thread, consider making an online document that people can update in real time.
If you need more than a quick information exchange, that might need a conversation with voices and faces. A vocal conversation can convey information not easily shared over text, and sometimes text is easily misread. Many of us are auditory learners or need to see something done to learn it best. Humans are funny like that. To keep it easy, a great idea is to have an open Zoom link to use as needed, like you’d use the communal conference room.
Implement an Agenda When You Do Hold Meetings
Sometimes you really do need a meeting. Meetings are good for sharing information, discussion, trading ideas, and getting verbal feedback. First, you need an agenda with solid objectives. Share the agenda before the meeting so that people can get their thoughts together.
After the meeting, follow up with what you discussed and reiterate decisions and actionable items. Not every meeting needs to be recorded, but it’s better to err on the side of retention. Make sure that people know where to find the videos and that the right people can see them. This is especially important for team members working from different time zones.
Establishing internal communication channels can be a learning curve, but with a little guidance, you’ll see improvements from project management to company culture. Office Accomplice specializes in making workplaces more efficient, productive, and streamlined. Contact us anytime.