To Improve Your Team’s Alignment, You Need These 8 Tools
Apr 15, 2021 19:14
Businesses thrive when employees at all levels are working in tandem. But this may be easier said than done. Whether a company has a handful of employees or several hundred, business leaders often struggle to foster a culture of collaboration and efficiency.
Fortunately, true alignment is possible with the right tools. A functional set of online tools can keep your employees organized, efficient, and on the same page. These essential tech solutions will help you promote alignment within your organization.
1. Corporate Wikis
Where do your employees go to find information on company processes and projects? If your organization lacks a digital knowledge management solution, a simple inquiry could turn into a flurry of emails and interrupted workflows. A corporate wiki is an essential tool for keeping employees in the know about — and directly involved in creating — company info.
This database holds all the essential content about your business’s products and procedures, and team members can edit it in real time. This central information resource can be an invaluable tool for new employees as they go through training or for seasoned staff looking for a refresh. Access to the wiki ensures that everyone in your organization finds the knowledge they need when they need it, keeping communication efficient.
2. Collaboration Apps
Old-school email just doesn’t cut it for modern companies. Though email certainly has its place, it’s not the only option for internal communication. Your business needs a multifaceted communication hub to streamline information exchange. Apps like Slack and Chanty organize company communication into tidy channels, making collaboration all the more efficient.
Your company can set up channels for each project and team, while maintaining company-wide communication and one-on-one chats. Many apps also have video and file-sharing capabilities. These types of collaboration apps are well-organized alternatives to traditional email and meetings. Plus, who doesn’t love getting funny GIFs from their boss?
3. Project Management Tools
Without the right project management tools, company initiatives can become jumbled and unproductive. Tools like Asana, ClickUp, and Trello help teams keep tabs on project progress, vet new project ideas, manage revisions, and stick to deadlines. They also enable projects to be broken down into bite-sized pieces, ensuring that everyone does their part.
Project management tools allow employees to see the entire scope of an initiative and how their role fits into that full picture. This dual perspective both boosts motivation and enables team members to align their efforts with company goals.
4. Online Calendars
This might seem obvious, but the right calendar is an essential tool for collaboration. Outdated calendar systems require tedious back-and-forths and make scheduling unnecessarily difficult. By upgrading to an app like Google Calendar, Calendar.com, or Calendly, businesses can take advantage of a host of productivity features.
Employees can color-code tasks, check colleagues’ schedules, and schedule meetings in a snap with these types of apps. Many calendars also integrate with other popular tools like Salesforce, QuickBooks, and Mailchimp. Just be sure to do your research before choosing a calendar. This tool is likely something you’ll want to stick with for a while.
5. Cloud-Based File-Sharing Software
Gone are the days of dropping a flash drive on your co-worker’s desk. The ability to send and collaborate on files is critical to alignment, especially when teams are working remotely. Cloud-based file-sharing tools allow employees to access files from anywhere and instantly save their documents. They also provide more robust security than local hosting.
Google Drive is one of the most popular file-sharing tools out there and a model of what to look for in this type of software. The ability to track edits, co-author documents, and share with a select group is key for company-wide collaboration. When you take file sharing online, you instantly elevate a team’s productivity.
6. Videoconferencing Tools
Another holy grail of remote work, videoconferencing software keeps your company connected. It’s true that some meetings could be emails. However, the right video tools will prove that the opposite is often equally true. Meeting face-to-face and speaking spontaneously about ideas encourages creativity and active participation in projects.
So what should companies look for in videoconferencing tools? Platforms that integrate with your email and scheduling programs are often your best bet. This is why many businesses stick with Google Hangouts and Microsoft Teams. However, you’ll also want to ensure that the tool is compatible with the size of your company. Zoom’s gallery view has proved advantageous for many large organizations.
7. Social Media Management Platforms
While some businesses may have one marketing maven running the show on social media, this isn’t always the case. Many organizations have social media and marketing teams that all need access to the brand’s social platforms. In addition to providing the right people access to social channels, companies need to ensure that all posts stay aligned and on message. This is why social media management tools are a must-have for content planning and overall branding.
Apps like Hootsuite and Sprout Social integrate multiple social media platforms into easy-to-use dashboards. Using these types of tools, team members can view and edit the content calendar, create posts, and manage user engagement. By centralizing social media management in this way, companies can stay on brand and keep as many eyes on the content as needed.
8. Password Managers
Password management is crucial to both productivity and security. Employees need to know how to log into accounts, and companies need to track who has access to which channels. Password management tools help companies achieve true alignment by streamlining account access and boosting security.
These tools are especially effective for medium to large companies using subscription-based services. An employee can use the password manager to access the account rather than asking all and sundry for the login credentials. And if an employee with account access leaves the company, managers can easily change the login to ensure continued security.
Companies in true alignment work together toward common goals with smooth communication and open access to knowledge. While all projects will have hiccups, digital tools can keep your teams on track and in sync to meet their objectives. It may take some time to adjust to these new tools, but the synergistic outcome will be well worth the learning curve.
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