Tip of the Week: How to Use Instant Messaging Professionally
Communication is paramount in any business environment, which makes it crucial that your business is equipped with the tools that allow this communication to take place. In light of this, many businesses have embraced instant messaging applications in the workplace. For this week’s tip, we’ll go over how to most productively and professionally utilize instant messaging.
Why Effective Communications are So Critical
There are a few reasons that you want your business’ internal communications to be clear and effective.
Miscommunication is rarely a good thing, but in the business setting, it has the potential to be crippling to your operations. If the correct information isn’t shared at the right time, with the right people, productivity will suffer. On the other hand, proper communications can help minimize, or even avoid, many potential workplace errors.
When an organization keeps its communications open across the board, it is prone to see an associated increase in companywide accountability. From owner to intern, being responsible for (and being held responsible for) certain milestones in a process keeps each member of a team on-task and motivated.
Naturally, when members of a team communicate properly, they are better able to work cooperatively. As a result, problems often become easier to solve, as ideas may more easily flow and develop. Additionally, potential issues between departments are more easily resolved, preventing interpersonal concerns from affecting the work.
The ability to communicate clearly enables a team to better pool their talents to much more efficiently overcome any issues that may arise. Whether a problem is strategic or technical, having the capability to swiftly solve it will only benefit a business’ operations.
Instant Messaging in the Workplace
Naturally, all of the above outcomes can (and often do) result from the use of an instant messaging application… as long as it’s the right one.
You need to make sure that your chosen solution is intended for business purposes, which means you need to use an enterprise-grade instant messaging application. In addition, you also need to be sure that you and your staff are properly leveraging your solution. Try to encourage the following practices and behaviors in your staff to ensure that your instant messaging solution doesn’t turn into an instant messaging problem:
- Keep it in check. You don’t want a solution that is meant to be a productivity booster to actually harm it. There’s a very real difference between your staff properly leveraging instant messaging capabilities, and aimlessly chatting all day. Encourage your staff to keep their conversations pertinent to the workplace and the task at hand (at least as much as possible).
- Remain professional. Again, conversations on your instant message solution should be far and away focused on workplace matters. It is important that your staff knows this, and resists using the solution to share jokes, GIFs, or memes excessively. Moderation is key.
- Don’t rely too much on it. Not all conversations are appropriate for an instant messaging platform, especially those that contain sensitive or overly complicated details. Some conversations are better shared in person, or in an email, where lengthier messages can be sent.
Have you ever utilized instant messaging in the workplace? Share your experience with us in the comments!