There's a famous story blues rock legend Stevie Ray Vaughan used to tell during live shows about the moment he knew he would become a musician. Once, after a difficult boss gave him another job he didn't want to do, he fell into a vat of grease, and he quit on the spot, dedicating the remainder of his life to the art and science of crafting sweet blues licks - luckily for the rest of us.
Employees at your company may not have vats of grease to fall into, but it's essential that there is good communication and employee engagement so that they operate at full productivity. Tools such as video collaboration software can make this easier.
Engagement needs to increase
A recent Gallup poll showed that only 30 percent of American employees feel fully engaged and working as hard as they can, and it is of the essence to the American economy that these men and women feel more engaged. The company found that the way in which workers interact with others around the office has a large effect on the feelings that result. "Workplace friends," for instance, make employees feel more positively about a job, by having a person nearby to help guide them and discuss problems.
Managers, too, need to do their best to meet as often as possible with workers, according to Gallup. Video conferencing software is a great way to achieve this. A text-based communication, or even only by phone, will not a readily stimulate workers and can lead to feelings of alienation and disengagement. If an in-person chat is logistically difficult, remote meeting software is the best substitute.
Top tips offer unique insight
A number of famous sources have offered similar insights into the process, according to Biz Journal. Paul Brusatori of Intermark Group, for instance, said that non-text based communication often engages people in a more positive manner.
"My best advice for improving communication would be to restore and reinforce direct conversation in the office," Brusatori said. "Nothing can replace the value of facial expressions, body language and tone when delivering and receiving information. Hopefully this limits inaccurate perceptions, wrong conclusions and endless email and texting ping pong."
Tools can change the environment
In-person meetings may not always be feasible, either economically or geographically. Robin Hunt of ThinkData, though, said that it's still possible to do so with the right tools, such as online video software. Email and instant messaging are very necessary, she said, but they should be supplemented with other options.
"On a tech level implement the right form of communication tools and educate them on the hows and why," she said.
As Gallup made clear, there is a great deal for companies to gain in encouraging productivity with better communications and stronger management. Almost a quarter of employees are actively disengaged, according to the poll - it's important that companies be sure they are working hard to keep workers feeling a happy, and a part of something bigger.