Team collaboration tools can be extremely productive for companies of all sizes. These platforms help improve transparency, centralize information, and allow employees to communicate quickly and efficiently. Despite these benefits, team collaboration programs can become a burden or a forgotten tool if they are not properly implemented. Deployment should involve a precise plan of action in order to get the most out of the platform and your employees. Here are some recommendations based on reviews of different team collaboration programs:
- If company-wide adoption is the end goal, it is important to implement from the top down to set a precedent. If executives are on board with the solution, then employees will follow. Others suggest implementing the platforms one team at a time. Once one team has success with a team collaboration tool they can be used to illustrate the benefits of the platform to others in the company.
- There should be a clear definition of when chat is an appropriate form of communication and when employees should default to email or a phone call. The speed and convenience of chat can make it a preferred method of conversation, but may not be applicable for emergency scenarios or contacting executives regarding crucial information. At the same time, team collaboration tools may not be the best way to reach a co-worker after hours and can delay replies. Expectations about reasonable times of day for use and response time should be laid out when onboarding to avoid any problems.
- It is also helpful to create specific guidelines for organizing the tool. An overabundance of chatrooms can bog down users and make it difficult to find essential information and time sensitive conversations. Likewise, the ability to embed videos, images, and gifs can be a fun feature, but if left unregulated can quickly get out of control. When necessary, companies should invoke administrative powers to remove distracting functions to help maintain a productive work environment.
Each of these recommendations should be taken into account when unrolling a team collaboration solution, but ultimately success will come down to the culture of the company. Different products thrive in certain environments and when a positive, fun, but responsible culture is the foundation there should be very few problems implementing any of these tools.