In today’s social and digital world, it’s becoming harder and harder to communicate with people in a meaningful way. Between all the social sites, email, texting, phone calls, and the Web in general, it’s amazing that any messages get through. The same is true at the workplace. 115 emails. That’s the average number a person sends & receives in one day according to a recent report. If each email only takes 1 minute to either read or respond to (and let’s face it, most take more), that’s almost 2 hours per day JUST SPENT CHECKING EMAIL. Add in another half hour checking your social alerts and maybe an hour on the phone or answering texts and your day is half over before you’ve accomplished anything.
All that communicating… and did you even get the information or answer you needed? Let’s examine some of the reasons one might send/receive emails, texts, social posts in a business setting throughout the day.
- You need to find out some information.
- You need to provide information.
- You need to collect information from a variety of sources.
- You need to share documents, files, or other resources.
- You need to act as the resident expert to answer questions.
- You need to learn from a resident expert.
In all of the above cases, is the person with whom you are communicating the only person who would benefit from this information? Probably not. Are you going to have to repeat the information in another email/phone call/text to someone else down the road? Probably so.
Because of this information overload, more and more companies are turning to platforms to help store and disseminate information on a mass scale. More knowledge databases, content management systems, and training sites are popping up to allow a one-stop-shop for employees (and, in some cases, customers or partners) to find the information they need when they need it. Here are a few that you might want to check out:
- Bloomfire- Helps you capture, display, save, and share information, connecting people who have knowledge with those who need it.
- The Revenue Accelerator- An onboarding platform for sales new hires.
- Postwire- Allows you to gather content and easily share with your clients.
- KnowledgeTree- Enables sales teams to pull the right collateral at the right time to engage customers and prospects.
Wasted time is not the only consequence of inefficient communications. Although somewhat dated, this study shows that companies need to focus on communication for employee retention, increased productivity, and executing corporate strategy. Remember to start from Day 1 with an employee and make sure that employee knows where to get the information she needs. The time you invest initially will pay off in the long run with more effective employees who are happier in their jobs because they will accomplish something other than clearing out their emails on a daily basis.