How to Unlock Productivity: Put Your Business in a Glass Box
American history is a series of revolutions: from our independence to economic expansion to the informational boom we are currently experiencing.
With the digital explosion in the 1950s, came an ability to capture, synthesize, store and analyze mass volumes of data. With the advent of the Internet and smart devices, we quite literally have information at our fingertips. But there’s a reason the saying is knowledge is power, not information is power. Information has limitations - it is only raw data in its purest form - but from it comes knowledge and power.
Benefits of Information Technology
For your business to grow and thrive, all your employees need to be able to access the knowledge housed within your databases. It is critical that the knowledge you gain be shared with those you’ve entrusted to communicate with your clients, manufacture your products or run various aspects of your business.
Without that access, your employees are flying blind. It’s harder for them to communicate effectively, work efficiently and do their jobs to the best of their ability. Knowledge management allows for:
Better coordination of activities.
Think of your business like a giant puzzle. When information flows freely and smoothly throughout departments, each piece fits easily and seamlessly together and your employees are more aware of overall processes, why certain steps are critical and what their contribution is. When employees are engaged like this, your business succeeds because they recognize the value and responsibility you’ve placed in them.
Better communication skills.
Your business - and its individual departments - do not operate in a vacuum. How they perform, and the results you see, are directly tied to changes in the marketplace, social/political climate and technology. These changes can be small, but have a pronounced effect on your overall performance. When you share this information, your employees can react quickly to keep your business on track.
Tips for Making Your Business Transparent
Transparency isn’t as scary or as difficult as many people believe. There are a few simple strategies you can implement that will drastically affect how information moves throughout your business.
Hold weekly meetings.
Weekly meetings keep everyone up-to-date on what’s happening throughout your business. These meetings can include department heads and C-suite executives only, or be open to your entire staff. The idea is that you communicate - on a large scale - where the company is going, why it’s goals might be changing, contextual circumstances surrounding decisions and the successes you’ve seen to date.
Send out customer feedback.
If you have a support team, create an automatic survey that allows customers to give your team feedback about their service, the products you offer and, at a general level, your overall company. Then blast these responses to the staff. Not only will it give everyone a chance to see the wonderful comments you’re getting, but it also allows other departments to address potential problems quickly.
There are so many applications available to you now that provide the type of transparency many businesses need to continually expand. Some facilitate internal communication with employees, vendors, manufacturers through portals and intranets, and some provide enterprise-wide access to all of the information stored within your business. Embrace the changing technological environment and use it to your benefit, so that your team can be most effective.