Supporting effective collaboration in your small business can be tough even at the best of times, and when most of your employees are working from home and all of them are stressed and anxious about their health and finances is far from the best of times.
It might be tempting to allow collaboration to drop below the horizon for the moment, especially if you’re concerned about your business’ long-term survival, but that would be a mistake. When your employees work well together, it underpins company stability and helps make it more resilient.
Good communication is both the foundation of smooth collaboration and the linchpin of positive corporate culture, which helps increase employee engagement and retention. Among Millennials, 61% agree that positive collaboration is crucial to their decision about whether or not to stay at their job. However, fewer than two-thirds of employees say that their internal communication is “good” or “excellent,” so the chances are that your business has some improvements to make.
Fortunately, there are tools that can help, and online notes platforms are heading the list. Here are 5 ways that online notes apps can help your SMB to strengthen collaboration, streamline workflows, and improve employee satisfaction all in one go.
1. Ensure everyone can find resources quickly
Understandably enough, your employees get frustrated when they have to interrupt their concentration to ask someone to send them a vital file, or search through 500 emails to find the right attachment. When everyone is feeling irritated and worried, their patience is even lower and their willingness to put up with disruptions is hanging by hair.
The best online notes app stores all the documents, resources, and discussion threads they might need in a single, searchable location. Instead of shooting off an email and waiting for a reply, they can access the necessary items quickly and easily in seconds. By cutting employee irritation and saving them from wasting time, online notes help boost employee satisfaction.
2. Encourage personal connections
It’s easy for your employees to feel isolated from each other if everyone is working remotely, or only some of your workforce is in the office at a time. The top challenges cited by remote workers are loneliness and communication. Although most of today’s remote workers are doing so because of the coronavirus pandemic, remote work is likely to continue at a much higher level even when we return to “normal,” so this isn’t a passing issue.
When employees feel connected with each other it builds trust, which is crucial for good collaboration, and increases their sense of belonging to your company. Online notes apps with real-time chat allow employees to share personal updates, jokes, and banter in a natural way that helps strengthen relationships to improve corporate culture and employee engagement.
3. Keep everyone on the same page
Cloud-based notes platforms save every comment and reaction and sync them with every device, ensuring that each employee can click into company discussions. Everyone can view and participate in the same discussion thread, and trace the evolution of an idea or a project.
Ideally, choose an online notes platform that allows you to invite everyone to collaborate, even if they don’t have a paid license. Use of gig workers is increasing as businesses lay off permanent staff to cut costs, and most SMB owners are reluctant to pay for more licenses than is absolutely necessary, but your freelance workers still need to collaborate on projects. Including them in the same tools helps them feel part of the team and assists in streamlining the workflow between permanent and freelance employees.
4. Allow employees to join in their own time
Although real-time chat brings important benefits, it’s also worth enabling asynchronous communications. It’s not always convenient for all your employees to be online at the same time, especially if some of them are working in different time zones. When schools are closed and kids are home, parents have to chunk up their working time and might end up doing most of their work between 8pm and 2am.
Supporting flexible working time is part of what WFH is all about. Online notes that save and sync discussion threads empower employees to share their feedback, ideas, and perspectives at more opportune times, so they don;t feel shut out of the brainstorming sessions.
5. Stop information overload
Too much information is the biggest challenge for clear communication, according to 45% of communication managers. Your employees are a lot more likely to feel overwhelmed by messages when they are coming at them on half a dozen different channels.
Instead of running conversations on Slack, WhatsApp, email, project management, and your internal communication networks, keep all your conversations on a single platform. Uniting discussions on an online notes app helps stop employees feeling bombarded by notifications, cuts distractions, and saves them from wasting time switching between tools.
Online notes can be your key to business success
The right online notes app can help you to improve collaboration, streamline workflows, and raise employee engagement, stabilizing your business to survive and thrive. By using online notes to cut the flood of notifications, improve employee relationships, offer easy and instant access to resources for all employees, and enable workers to join when it’s convenient for them, you can boost revenue and increase profitability for the long term.