A recent article identified that software is often developed in teams because studies show that groups find it easier to come up with innovations and find the best solutions to problems. Studies also show that working in teams produces better results and greater job satisfaction. And collaboration has become a key part of creating successful teams, which results in successful projects.
Teamwork is the foundation of productive collaboration; it is a vital part of all business communication and decision-making. To make swift and informed decisions about the multitude of data being shared amongst team members every day, team members need tools to unify and strengthen their cohesiveness as a group. Conferencing and collaboration tools can help bring together and build better teams, so that companies are more productive and efficient in their actionable tasks.
Nurture Team Relationships
Most would agree that following up on task items through email or chat sessions can be rather dry and impersonal. And it’s often difficult to decipher tone in a written message, sometimes causing conflicts and rifts among team members as intended meanings are misinterpreted. In a web or video conference, team members are able to see facial expressions, hear the tone (or lack thereof) in each person’s voice. It is easier to joke around and let people’s personalities come out. As team members become more relatable to one another, stronger bonds build and it becomes easier to find common ground. As these team relationships are nurtured, potential communication roadblocks dissolve and the group is able to operate more efficiently and in a more unified manner.
Foster Creative Thinking
The ability to mark-up shared drawings on-the-fly, add artwork, or suggest changes to mock ups for ad layouts are just a few ways in which conferencing and collaboration tools can foster increased creativity. And more creative and original ideas can be the difference in landing that new account. Plus, seeing others’ ideas in a shared environment allows team members to feed off of one another and build upon ideas – taking them to the next level.
Increase Team Productivity
The tools available in today’s conferencing and collaboration solutions are very powerful and can significantly increase team productivity. Here are some of the tools included in most collaboration packages, and how they can strengthen your teams:
Group Chat/Instant Message: This tool unifies teams so that everyone stays informed on a topic, whether physically present in the office or not
Team Calendars/Presence: Group calendaring and presence tools keep team members up-to-date on each person’s availability, so time is not wasted in failed attempts to contact someone on vacation or travelling to a client site
File Sharing:The ability to share files is a key collaboration tool for teams. Information can be dispersed and analyzed in a much timelier manner when it can be reviewed by all team members simultaneously. And since everyone is looking at the same document, at the same time, confusion and errors are reduced or eliminated when older data is examined or incorrect files are modified.
Project Task Distribution: Many conferencing and collaboration tools now integrate with other CRM and project management tools, so that tasks can be assigned when team members are meeting as a group in a conferencing session.
Sharing Knowledge Improves Job Efficiency and Effectiveness
A recent article from Harvard Business Review shared some insight on ways that sharing knowledge with team members can improve an organization’s operational efficiency. For instance, one employee in a global consulting firm took on a survey project to better understand the concerns of CEOs. In doing so, she learned information she was able to immediately apply to upgrade her own work. She also learned there were specialized staff members who possessed knowledge she could glean and regurgitate into marketing materials that helped to land new clients.
In other applied instances, organizations could use the shared knowledge obtained in conferencing and collaboration to review medical cases across geographically-dispersed hospitals and health facilities. Also, process improvements at one office could be shared and implemented more easily across divisions through a simple collaboration session.
Conferencing and collaboration tools can save businesses time and money, while keeping team members on the same page of the issues being addressed.These solutions allow your organization to unify all modes of business communication – voice, virtual and virtual – into the best fit for your company.
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