Tech companies are known for their brilliance and innovation. But are they really as tech savvy as they think day to day? Based on our work with companies both large and small, we at Grovo have identified the top five areas that need the most improvement — those where even the tech gurus simply aren’t putting the right tools to work.
How does your team stack up? Use these tips to get your business running efficiently so your teams can focus on the important things — like changing the world.
Project Management Failure
Startups and small teams often run projects informally at first, over email or using spreadsheets. But as the materials start piling up, these projects can get out of control. People are often unclear about the project’s scope, their individual responsibilities and the specific results they should deliver.
There is a simple solution: switch your project assignments, resources and deadlines over to cloud project management software. It’s a convenient way to keep track of everything seamlessly. The tools available, such as Asana, Podio, and Trello, are easy to scale for projects of any size. Use them to manage a single task or an entire project.
According to research by Atlassian, the No. 1 time-waster at work is email. Although email is an essential method of communication for pretty much everyone now (nearly 200 billion emails are sent out daily worldwide), most people don’t know how to manage their inboxes efficiently, let alone how to write concise, clear emails. This combination results in a lot of wasted time.
Structure your day better. When you come into the office in the morning, your mind is at its most effective, so simply skim your inbox and address only the urgent or difficult messages right away. Once you have addressed the timeliest emails, come back to your inbox later in the day to follow up with the rest.
Also, understand when to use email correctly. As Mark Twain famously said, “If I had more time, I would have written a shorter letter.” We all know it can take time to draft streamlined notes while getting to the important message. So use this rule of thumb: If you can really get your point across in a few sentences, send an email; if you can’t, try picking up the phone. That’s definitely more efficient than filling up your inbox with needless back-and-forths. Conversely, if your email is only a sentence long, send an instant message or get up and talk to the person.
File Version Conflicts
We store an ever-increasing amount of business information digitally, from financial statements to sales collateral. But the majority of us attach documents to emails and send them back and forth to collaborate with co-workers. Pretty quickly, teammates are reviewing and editing conflicting versions of files, and no one is really sure where the most current document stands.
Online file storage and collaboration allows everyone to see the same thing at the same time, no matter where they are. Businesses can track changes to a document, solve conflicting version problems and more. We recommend tools like Google Drive, Box or Dropbox.
When one person’s email is hacked at a company, everyone on the team is at risk — the hacker now has access to the whole team’s business contacts. Password redundancy across websites is dangerous as well, because no matter how secure a password is, just one compromised account could affect every other site with the same login information.
Know what makes your password vulnerable and consider using a longer passphrase instead. Having multiple passwords means you reduce the risk of redundancy becoming a problem. Try out Password Meter to test your existing passwords. If they aren’t up to code, move on to Strong Password Generator to create a quick password. Strong passwords aren’t always easy to recall at first, so create a harmless-looking document that contains the passwords hidden within — not in one file on your desktop labeled “Passwords!” If all else fails, combine everyday names such as past pets and favorite brands with a number in between.
Lack of Social Media Resources
A social media strategy that covers multiple social networks is important and beneficial. But monitoring and posting to each network one at a time throughout the week is inefficient and cumbersome.
Social media management platforms allow any team, no matter how small, to monitor and post content to all their social network accounts at once, saving time otherwise wasted on jumping from network to network. Our favorite platform is HootSuite because it lets you monitor up to 10 network feeds on one screen.
Evolve With Technology
Every day at Grovo we see what tools the workforce is clamoring for, and what tools we all need the most help understanding. Through our cloud-based video training platform and our work with over 100 of the Fortune 500, we have identified these specific areas where tech businesses can improve. But there isn’t a one-size-fits-all solution. The growing skills gap in the workforce means we all have to make it a point to keep up. Technology is constantly evolving, and it’s important to make sure your teams are too.
Jeff Fernandez is the co-Founder & CEO of Grovo, a learning platform which is closing the growing digital skills gap with highly engaging, 60-second videos. Grovo’s microlearning method is the best and fastest way to learn the digital skills you need to perform better at work.
Originally published by StartupCollective.