Internal Communication with Your Team
How do you communicate in your company? Do you rely on text messaging, email, calling one another, or an internal communication (social network)? We have many different ways to communicate these days with friends, family and coworkers thanks to popular sites such as Facebook. Those sites make it more fun and very easy, right? Now, with that in mind, I wanted to do a bit of a technical article talking about internal communications between your team members. Let’s look into why this type of communication is important, mention of some of the products on the market (specifically: Yammer) that do this sort of thing and then round it out with my favorite program and why I recommend it for the home improvement industry.
Why Internal Communication is Important
First, why is this important? It is really quite simple. A business needs a way to communicate with the team in a quick and easy way- these days more than ever. It is becoming more and more common to have team players that work in different locations. Your bookkeeper might work from a remote location and rarely come to your office. Your field employees are normally on the job site. Your marketing guy might be outsourced like me. So, it is essential that you find a simple way to communicate with your team. It is then just as important to be able to recall that information at a later date. You need to be able to save that in case you need to know what was said when, by whom and what was supposed to take place next. Obviously using the right type of internal communication is vital to the success of your company.
What Are Some Popular Ways To Communicate These Days
- Yammer and Sharepoint
- Basecamp 3
- Facebook Groups and Facebook Messenger
- Google Chat (aka: Hangouts)
- Chatter (by Salesforce)
I just named a small handful of programs. There are hundreds more, I am sure. The most popular ones I have seen contractors use as they search for an efficient internal communication system are Yammer & Basecamp.
Many painting companies have used Yammer, for example, to create a group of teams such as: Crew Leaders, Sales, Marketing, Finance and so forth. Ongoing, they use Yammer very much like Facebook, updating, commenting, and sharing. It is an enjoyable and easy way to keep everyone in the loop on company updates, follow ups, etc.
But Why Do I Recommend Basecamp over Yammer?
This is where I want to move into why I believe Basecamp, not Yammer, is the best tool for a home improvement business to adopt when it comes to communicating with the team.
Yammer is easy to use. I have used it with several companies I work with in the painting industry. I have tried very hard to like it and adapt it to try to make it my favorite. Yet there seemed to be a missing piece, something very important. Yammer does not have a crucial tool that I think all internal communication software needs to have built in: task management. Your internal communication software must find a way to keep your team accountable – a way to follow up on things!
Automated Check-ins: This is automated and customizable so it happens without you having to remember
This is where Basecamp shines above Yammer and many of the other programs I mentioned above. Basecamp is a super simple internal communications tool with built in, easy to use, task and project management tools. It saves the company valuable time to use one tool to communicate, manage, follow up and even keep documents/files in one place.
Now, this was just my opinion. I had to convince some of my customers that Basecamp was better than Yammer. I, myself came to this conclusion when I had to use Yammer to communicate as a marketing manager and then my own Basecamp account to create task and follow ups. When I needed to follow up, I had to rely on email or Yammer to do so. It took a lot of unneeded extra steps.
One day, I was able to show one of my favorite clients how I used Basecamp. I did not sell them on it. No I just walked them through the details of Basecamp. They wanted me to describe how they could use Basecamp for their painting business. The short story is that a company that absolutely loved Yammer and originally thought they hated Basecamp switched to Basecamp 3. Their entire company uses it today. And their hard to convince VP? Well she sent me an email after the changeover to let me know how much she was “liking Basecamp”.
My Team and Basecamp
I am not going into all the features and benefits of Basecamp; I invite you to take a tour and learn more about what it can do. Do yourself and your company a favor and watch this 2 minute video.
I will close with mentioning that I have been using Basecamp for over a decade. I have been with them since they had Basecamp Classic, then Basecamp 2 and then when they released their best product in the fall of 2016, Basecamp 3. It was in early 2016 that I moved my team over to Basecamp 3 exclusively. What I mean is that my core team is only “allowed” to use Basecamp to communicate. This means no emailing or text messaging outside of Basecamp. The only other tool we use a lot within our team is Google Drive (which docs/sheets integrate within Basecamp).
There are still things I want Basecamp to do. I am constantly emailing their support to put my two cents into their idea cup of future updates. Yet for what it can do here and now, it is the best way for a painting, remodeling or other home improvement business to communicate, provide company updates, follow up and keep each other accountable. When you can keep your staff accountable in a fun and easy way, your business will run even better than ever!
Let me know your thoughts or questions in the comments below.