How to improve communications using collaborative tools

In my last post ‘Should collaboration tools redefine internal communications’ role?‘ I gave my view on the corporate environment needed to encourage internal communications professionals to welcome collaboration tools being used by employees.  But which collaboration tools can you introduce and improve internal communications too?

I recommend researching employees’ needs to find which are most needed and likely to be adopted.  Some contact with senior managers to understand the corporate values will help too.  Let’s start by increasing employees interaction with existing communication channels before we move on to new collaborative tools.

When a new article is published on the intranet employees normally have no easy opportunity to show how valuable it is, what their views are or the effect it has.  Introducing a few features can help to change that.

Rating

Employees are able to rate how useful the information has been.  The higher the rating, the more useful it is.  It helps show internal communications what is most valued by employees and encourage similar messages to be published.  More importantly it shows what is not useful and could be reduced or stopped.  This information helps plans for future communications that have the best impact.

Comment

Employees are able to comment on the news item.  A comments feature gives freedom to express positive and negative views.  It also enables other employees to see these comments and show if they dis/agree with what has been said already.  This helps internal communications to understand better how useful, complete, and relevant it has been.  It helps internal communications to improve future messages and empowers employees to influence these by expressing their views.

Like

Employees are able to show they like the news item.  This helps internal communications understand how valuable and useful the message has been to employees.  It is a simpler approach to rating content (see Ratings) and gives a basic indication by the number of employees who how liked the message.

Share

Employees are able to share news items with other employees who have a similar need or interest.  This helps spread news more quickly using the channels that employees prefer to use rather than the formal, existing, internal communication channels with other employees.

How I can help

I have several years’ first hand experience improving communications and helping other organisations too.  Please contact me if you would like me to help you:

  • decide on the right collaboration tools
  • communicate better using collaborative tools
  • improve internal communications
  • research employees needs and attitudes
  • train internal communicators

My next blog will cover how blogs can help improve internal communications.

5 responses to “How to improve communications using collaborative tools

  1. Pingback: Intranet Lounge

  2. Nowadays these features are “quite simple” to deploy. Return for communicators can be immense, comparing to the past. Employees are finally actors of the communication and information process. They can indicate what matters for them and give a feedback in realtime on what they receive. Since Shannon, we know that is the best process to improve the quality of the communication.
    If technology isn’t a problem, senior management approval for these features can be an obstacle in organisations where trust in employees is low and where there is fear of lost of control. But I’m convinced that it’s just a matter of time…
    - Claudio

    • Thanks for your comments Claudio. I suggest starting small with a small group of people who have a common problem and try out a collaboration tool that you think may solve the problem.

      If you quickly find out it doesn’t then you can stop with minimum time and effort wasted and move on to another tool to test.

      If it does, then ‘word of mouth’ can spread the good news and you will soon have strong examples of success to show to senior manager when seeking approval.

      Mark

  3. Pingback: How blogs can improve internal communications « Mark Morrell Intranet Pioneer

  4. Pingback: How discussion forums can help internal communications « Mark Morrell Intranet Pioneer

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