Think your employees are happy in their jobs? Think again. A recent study from Dale Carnegie Training quantified the number of fully engaged employees at only 29 percent and disengaged employees at 26 percent. Chances are, your team falls somewhere in the middle. Luckily, a number of innovative technology solutions can help.
According to the report, employee/supervisor relationships are to blame. Somewhere along the management chain, communication breaks down, resulting in frustration on both ends. No organization is immune—leaders need to actively invest in keeping teams running smoothly, efficiently and happily. But how? Turning to innovative solutions like these five project management tools can help.
5 Innovative Technology Solutions
15Five is a platform that helps employees communicate feedback up the corporate chain. The concept is based on a simple idea, to have each employee spend 15 minutes a week working on a report that takes their manager no more than 5 minutes to read. It's a way for employees to feel heard and managers to save time.
The platform replaces typical feedback models that revolve around annual performance reviews. With 15Five, opportunities for formal dialogue remain balanced, open and continuous.
15Five is a subscription-based product hosted entirely online. Subscriptions start at $49 a month for 10 users, $5 for each additional user. Volume discounts available.
JIRA is a project management platform that helps technical teams get things done. Teams can use the tool to capture and organize issues, assign work and follow team activity. JIRA also has a mobile interface so teams can continue to collaborate when working off-site.
This innovative technology can adapt to align with a team's existing processes, lets you define your own process, or leverages one that is already present in the tool. Pricing starts at $10 a month for 10 users and scales up.
Communication with consultants, remote teams and independent contractors can be a painful challenge. When your team members are geo-dispersed, you don't have the luxury of an impromptu brain break or information sharing session.
A screen sharing tool like Join.me can help bridge the gap. The free platform can host up to 10 meeting participants and supports features including screen sharing, Internet calling, share control, chat and file sharing. Enterprise platforms can host up to 250 meeting participants, record and annotate presentations, schedule meetings, and provide viewers with a personal link.
Basecamp helps teams keep projects and discussions together online in a single page. This is an ideal solution for teams managing multiple projects—it's nearly impossible to maintain dozens of concurrent conversations through email.
Basecamp allows project managers to collaborate with internal teams, clients, contractors and vendors on one centralized platform. It's also possible to create groups for keeping people organized in their respective roles and functions. Pricing starts at $20 a month for 10 projects and 3 GB data storage.
Face time is critical in business, especially for geo-dispersed teams; without it, people can get left behind or fall through the cracks. That's why video calls are so important in business these days. For casual video calls, Skype and Google Hangouts are ideal fits. But if you're a video power-user, your team needs more. And it's up to your company to invest in the core technology infrastructure to keep people connected.
Mezzanine, from Oblong, is a solution that fully integrates into the office. Mezzanine helps teams communicate and share content on any device. The innovative technology supports real-time collaboration so meetings are more interactive, creative and productive. Pricing is available upon request.
Do Your Homework
Before investing in any technology, do your due diligence to understand the unique needs of your business. You need tools to boost your core strengths. If you miss the mark, you'll risk deepening the areas of your business that are already weak. Talk to your team members. Examine your workflow critically. Can a new innovative technology help you do business better? If it can generate a clear and measurable ROI, you need to add it to your arsenal.
Ritika specializes in business, entrepreneurship, marketing, and quantitative analysis. She's written for Forbes, Investopedia, CrazyEgg, Unbounce, the Contently Blog and the SAP Innovation Blog.
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