Investing in collaboration software can carry your business forward regardless of employee location (and is supremely better than laborious project handoff notes that are never fully complete or at worst, never even read…)
Editor’s Note: Today we’ve invited Annekathrin Häse, Director of Strategy and Marketing at MindLink Software, to guest-blog on the important topic of business critical collaboration.
It won’t have escaped anyone’s notice that it’s that time of year when employees are about to desert the workplace for some much needed R&R. But whilst most employees relish the break, from an enterprise point of view, it can be a management nightmare.
Leaving the office for even a short period of time (let alone a two week holiday) brings to light just how much information is in the hands of each individual employee. Very often there’ll be extensive notes detailing work in progress for colleagues to progress and coverage plans, and whilst useful, these are laborious and time consuming to compile and are then rarely followed by the colleague being left behind. What this type of collaboration doesn’t do (crucially) is capture the much wider picture and cover off email trails and previous discussions that have taken place. It fails to provide context. Additionally, keep in mind that email in particular was designed for communication – not collaboration. It’s not running in real-time and has limited group functionalities. In short, these tools aren’t nearly good enough. Today’s fast-paced and highly global world demands better forms of collaboration to manage the ever growing volume of information, geographically dispersed teams, enterprise silos & cross-functional teams as well as multiple systems and technologies that can lack even basic integration.
This is where business critical collaboration (and let’s be crystal clear on this – I’m not talking about enterprise social networking here) comes into play – multi-layered discussions between groups of people with the aim of meeting common objectives. And it is this type of collaboration tool that can enable organisations to optimise one of their most valuable resources – the knowledge of their employees – whether they are on holiday, working from home or are travelling abroad – by capturing their shared discussions and knowledge. This ultimately increases productivity and creates context for colleagues, which in turn allows the business to drive projects and discussions forward in their absence. It also fosters true knowledge management – two-way communications between the business and employees and can lead to a much better level of engagement and satisfaction – research has proven this and indeed according to recent stats (by the Temkin Group), highly engaged employees are 5.8 times more committed to helping their companies succeed. These are statistics that few businesses can afford to disregard in the current economic climate.
So what should organisations do to ensure knowledge retrieval and information sharing continues, and carries the business forward regardless of the holiday season and the location of their employees?
Business collaboration tools such as MindLink provide a powerful solution by making it easy for knowledge on a wide variety of topics to be shared across an organisation. Leveraging Microsoft LyncTM, the focus is on team communications and group collaboration, rather than closed private conversations and ‘email jail’. That way, a team member being out of the office – whether planned or unexpectedly – shouldn’t bring projects to a grinding halt because critical information rests with them or is locked away behind passwords on their hard drive. MindLink also focuses on providing integration into existing processes and systems so that data from line-of business applications as well as social conversations can easily be streamed into conversation channels.
So this year, when you’re thinking about asking for those coverage plans and project update notes, pause to consider the benefits of a business critical collaboration tool. There might be one in place already that is not being taken full advantage of, or it could be a tool that you should think of implementing.
Oh and remember that MindLink can be accessed from anywhere, so worst case scenario, your employee can log in from any web browser, tablet device – or via their smartphone, and update the business or contribute to an ongoing conversation/discussion.
Now where did that suitcase disappear to?
Enjoy your holidays,
Director of Strategy and Marketing, MindLink Software