Teamwork. We learned it in elementary school. By sharing crayons, we learned that we could create more colorful pictures. By hoisting each other up over our shoulders, we learned that we could climb taller trees. By working together, we've learned how to enhance every aspect of our lives, from cooking breakfast to inventing groundbreaking technology. So there's no reason that collaboration should end when we clock into work.
The most successful businesses require fast-paced problem-solving and creativity. In order to reach your ambitious goals, it's essential that your team learns to work better together. Don't take our word for it — recent studies have shown that 80 percent of employees cite lack of collaboration or ineffective business communication tools as the cause of workplace failures.
Too many communication tools lead to unnecessary challenges
You may be wondering: How much harm could multiple communication tools really cause? Isn't sifting through emails, bouncing from meeting to meeting and struggling to remember the details of a call the norm for most organizations?
Maybe, but that doesn't mean it's the best way to do business. When information is scattered across several departments, important stakeholders are often left out of the loop. Team members may miss critical deadlines or spend exorbitant amounts of time trying to gather the right information when they really need it. If nobody takes notes in a meeting, everyone struggles to remember details the next week. In the worst-case scenarios, deals are dropped and money is lost.
Collaborate better with your team — use our guide to the 10 best collaboration software tools for productive teams.
These may be daily, infuriating issues. Luckily, they're easily prevented with consolidated communication tools.
When you communicate better, you collaborate better
Reduced cognitive load
By consolidating your multiple, disparate communication tools into a single source of truth across the entire organization, you can transform your team into a powerhouse of collaboration, creativity and success. The cognitive load associated with switching, searching and struggling with several communication channels is lifted from all of your employees — so they can direct that mental energy toward revenue-driving activities.
Less wasted time
Cut out the time loss of transitioning between different tools, and your team will spend less time looking for information and more time crushing their goals. We've all spent too much time sifting through emails, messages, call recordings, paper documents and more, and we all know the time strain it can put on everyone; it can mean the difference between meeting your deadlines and falling drastically behind. With that time drain lifted, your team can use their work hours more productively.
Greater retention rates
With a single source of truth for all discussions and information sharing, everyone is included — and you can create a close community of more satisfied and motivated people. In fact, companies that communicate effectively are 4.5 times more likely to retain their best employees. That means, you can attract and retain the top talent available, for maximum value to your business.
Higher engagement levels
Additionally, this Stanford study found that by just perceiving a more collaborative workplace, employees performed better and work longer on difficult tasks. They also reported higher engagement levels, lower fatigue levels and a higher success rate. Motivated, best-in-class employees working together to close deals and drive results — what could be better?
Make room for a consolidated communication tool
Don't worry — email, phone and team messaging tools are here to stay. Obviously, the many business communication tools you currently use serve their own unique purpose. It still makes sense to hold in-person meetings, for example, because they're great for trying to solve big problems and have complex discussions. Team messaging systems are always going to be the best way to go for quick updates or cross-functional collaboration. Consolidating your communication tools is not meant to be an alternative to these tools. Rather, it's an opportunity to work with other tools for faster, smoother enterprise communication.
By taking all of the notes, documents and decisions from all your tools and funneling them into one place, employees can access that information more quickly and follow-up when they need to. When someone joins your team, they can check that one place for additional context on ongoing discussions and projects. Ultimately, better context leads to better motivation — and more effective teamwork.
Your time matters. Without a single, comprehensive communication tool, your team is wasting time trying to track down information and transition between tools. What's worse, the motivation and satisfaction of your employees is suffering for it. Bottlenecks are building up, employees are dropping the ball on key tasks and money is going down the drain.
There is a better way: Consolidate your disparate communication tools for significant gains in productivity, transparency and ROI.
This post was updated in October 2019 with new information.