Two men and a woman reviewing documents in an office.

Using business communication systems can help create a more collaborative atmosphere.

Your small business can only produce fantastic products and provide stellar customer service through business communication systems if everyone is working on the same team. And as anyone who’s been in a long-term relationship knows, communication is essential to working together. While it’s not likely your staff is going to argue about who needs to take out the trash (although the break room refrigerator may be a touchy subject), you need to make sure you are providing the tools and processes to help make sure every member of your staff is on the same page.

By the time many small-business owners realize there is an internal communications issue, it’s often too late to effectively address the situation. By proactively considering communication across team members and providing the necessary tools, your small business will have a competitive edge over your competitors.

Here are four ways you can bridge the communication gap with business communication systems:

1. (Almost) Face-to-Face Meetings

Emails are important. Phone calls are great. But being able to see someone’s facial expression makes all the difference when it comes to letting remote team members form relationships. This way, it’s easier to tell when someone is joking – or not. With video conferencing, you can avoid miscommunications and help employees develop a rapport with each other. This works if you have multiple offices or if you have employees who are working remotely.

2. Create a Collaboration Culture

With remote teams, one top challenge is effectively working together. When teams work together onsite, they typically use a conference room as a home base, with sticky notes, empty pizza boxes, and whiteboards full of chicken scratch, arrows, and asterisks to show for it. By using collaboration tools and web conferencing, your team can have a virtual whiteboard, calendar, chat, contact list, and many other tools to help bridge the communication gap, whether everyone sits in a single room or spans across the country.

3. Reduce Versioning and File Access Issues

One of the most important forms of communication these days is written communication. Teams often have to share documents and work collaboratively on a project. However, keeping the versions straight and making sure everyone has the access they need when they need it can be challenging, even for teams working in one location. This becomes even more cumbersome when teams work in different locations, sometimes resulting in missed deadlines, extra stress, and frustrated employees. By using file-sharing tools, everyone has access to the files they need to do their jobs, and no one has to worry about their colleague overwriting their work or updating an old version of a document.

4. Share Knowledge with Each Other

The skills employees need to do their jobs these days seems to change and evolve at a dizzying speed. To stay competitive, it’s essential that small businesses ensure each employee has the necessary skills to get the job done. One solution is using a virtual classroom to have an employee with the needed expertise provide training to teammates. This technology can also be used to bring in an outside expert to teach your team.

By using business communication systems, you can increase your company’s knowledge base, foster a culture of teamwork, and make collaboration more effective across the organization.

Contact Vonage Business for more insights on using business communication tools.

About Jennifer Goforth Gregory

Jennifer Goforth Gregory is a technology freelance writer specializing in B2B and telecommunications topics. She has written for national brands including IBM, Samsung, ADTRAN, Adobe, Hewlett-Packard Enterprise, Verizon, Costco and American Express. One of her superpowers is being able to translate technical speak from the experts that make products work into language everyone else can understand. Jennifer has a master’s degree in technical communication and lives in North Carolina with her husband and two kids.

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