I was soooo wrong.
The feedback from the employees was that the chat was awesome! They loved it. However, as time went on I started to see a downfall in overall communication company-wide. How could this be?
I found myself in a circle of conflicts as owner and director. This surprised me because I expected the chat to increase productivity and efficiency issues.
Studies show that words account for 7% of information communicated. Vocal tone accounts for 55% and body language for the remaining 38%. This means chat is missing 93% of the communication output! Holy crap! No wonder it’s not working as well as we hoped.
A 2012 McKinsey study found that employees spend more than 60% of their workweek engaged in electronic communication. That means 40% of their time is actually being productive and accomplishing something (and back then it was mostly e-mail, so I think today this would be more like 7–80% communication and 20% of actual work-unless your job is communicating of course).
Conflicts of Company Chat:
- Human Resources: Words be misconstrued on chat. A variety of “he said-she said” drama
- Data Management: Chat was mistakingly used as a place to input data. Meaning the data did not go in the correct place and would sit there in chat.
- Time Consumption: Chat became a part-time job. I was glued to my computer at the start of the day, having to scroll through 12-17 separate chat rooms to try to catch up on things that happened when I wasn’t in the office. I had a hell of a time trying to figure out where people stood on projects and would try to draw out notes on a legal pad like it was 1992. What was happening!?!?!
- Obligation: Constant messages gives people a major sense of obligation to respond, regardless of where their attention is supposed to be in the moment.
- Response Entitlement: Let’s not forget all the “Hey, did you get my chat?” chats or “????” when I still had more chats to go through. I couldn’t keep up!
- Output: High quality work requires time and focus. If we are constantly responding to others, we are not able to produce our goals. This creates the perfect storm for stress, feeling inadequate and poor performance reviews.
Chat can be good for quick connections, but it’s not a great tool for fostering relationships, learning to speak to another human being, especially in building leadership skills. Managers I work with, I am finding are having a hard time connecting with their employees in person because their dialogue has only been through minor chats.
Leadership Conflicts of Chat:
- Connection: Leaders need to develop and have the skills to communicate with employees. A lot gets lost in translation in chat as opposed to a virtual meeting or phone call.
- Public Speaking: You’d be surprised that one of the top 3 requests I receive for Executive Coaching is public speaking skills. A lot of leaders who rely heavily on company chat for daily communications are then, without training thrust into presentations and expected to perform when their typical day involves speaking to no one. Grammatical skills, communication skills, and general organization skills are lost in presentations due to the variability and inconsistency of the chat environment.
- Communication: Leaders need to be professional communicators. When there are employee performance issues, I’ve seen leaders get stuck or ignored by employees via chat. There’s a confusion on how to connect to employees and uncertainty on how to communicate messages.
- Project Management: As I said above, the amount of back and forth chat may seem quick, however it is far from efficient.
In my personal experience, I’ve found I can accomplish everything I need in less than a 10-minute phone call vs. pages long chat filled with questions and explanations that seem to not end.
My stance on chats is that they create an illusion of productivity and efficiency.
Sure, it’s an easy way to contact people, however, I do think they should not be used as a project management tool.
Especially now in the growth of a remote environment, we need a way besides chat and random documents to organize company projects.
I have a solution for you and I’m telling you it has been a lifesaver in my home and business!
It’s a project management tool called Meistertask. It allows you to organize projects, create timelines, checklists and you can chat within a specific project so that it’s focused.
Much better than searching a chatroom to find what you are looking for or worse yet, scrolling through tons of dialogue to find what you are looking for. Also better than a calendar tool simply because it’s task-focused.
It streamlines communication in a way that’s organized and efficient. Score!
Here’s are educational samples of what Meistertask looks like:
With built-in ways to set timelines, checklists, organized chats, and ways to upload files it’s a no-brainer for home or business.
I set mine up so when a project task is completed I get alerts sent to my watch and phone so I can quickly see a project moving along. If there’s a roadblock or something I need to address, I can quickly see the status of the task and the notes. Saves so much time chatting back and forth and wasting time.
Honestly, I don’t know what I would do without this program. It has kept me and projects organized and minimized useless chats by 95% in home and business!
Especially now for all our remote workers. It can be tough these days to keep everything organized afar within people’s laptops and not in a central office space.
If you are a manager, you need this to manage your projects and employees right now.
If you are a family with activities, school work, and a lot going on, you need this to coordinate with your family, kids and whoever else is helping you! Much better than a calendar.
Think this might be good for you?
If you decide to upgrade for more features, use the code LDBA for a discount on me! 😉
Let’s get organized and maximize productivity in a way chat never can!
Do you have any opinions on chats or productivity programs you like? Tell us!
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