Best Workforce Communication Modes
As the workforce changes, so must how we approach our jobs and our channels of communications. Our Breaking the Barriers 2020 report, highlights the differences in generational expectations when it comes to communication and collaboration tools. Whether it’s email, video conferencing, or chat, as organizations embrace generational diversity by offering different forms of communication mediums, it is equally important for workers to know the best practices for each.
As much as we all like to complain about the amount of emails we have, email is a convenient way to communicate without juggling multiple schedules for an in-person meeting. According to the Radicati Group, more than 293 billion emails will be sent in 2019 alone. Email is a great tool for meeting recaps, sending agendas or action items, keeping a written record of a correspondence, and providing cross team communications to align goals and initiatives. When using email, however, it’s important to keep in mind that subtleties, nuances, and tone can get lost. Always remain professional and be concise to avoid a back and forth. If it becomes clear that an email is causing confusion, consider picking up the phone.
Phone conversations add a human element and can quickly clear up any ambiguity that might have been lost in email. It’s a quick and effective way to talk through complicated tasks or ideas and the best way to reach a team member or client directly. However, picking up the telephone is now a generational divide where younger members of the workforce are less inclined to use them for fear of seeming intrusive.
Chats help develop deeper relationships and build rapport with your team because they give you the opportunity to be a little more informal than email. Sending a chat is the best route if you need to quickly one-off a teammate with a brief question or want to meet in the common area for coffee or a team huddle. Earlier this year, Slack boasted 10 million daily active users, so saying that the medium has latched on in the workplace is an understatement. Messaging tools have grown in popularity and usage over that past few years. In our own Breaking Barriers 2020 survey, employees stated that they have access to least four different chat tools at work. Chats are also a great tool to discreetly confirm information with other team members without disrupting the meeting. Especially among large groups however, chat messages can be hard to navigate and can be disruptive when they continuously pop up on your screen. Consider snoozing nonessential chat streams to mitigate desktop distractions.
Video meetings are becoming increasingly popular in the enterprise, especially in work environments with displaced teams. It’s a great tool to walk through complicated projects, especially when using content or screen sharing capabilities so that all team members can discuss in real-time. Video can also help remote employees feel more connected. Keep in mind that the best video meetings happen when all team members are fully engaged, so consider snoozing notifications to remain focused and engaged and limit multitasking.
So, which medium is the best?
Ultimately, it’s important to have access to email, phone, chat, and video tools, seamlessly. At Fuze, we believe that people can do their best work when you break down the barriers to communication. That’s why we are dedicated to empowering organizations embracing the future of work, supporting teams with seamless collaboration tools to do their best work anywhere, at any time.