The Young Entrepreneur Council (YEC) is an invite-only organization comprised of the world’s most promising young entrepreneurs. In partnership with Citi, YEC recently launched BusinessCollective, a free virtual mentorship program that helps millions of entrepreneurs start and grow businesses.
We like to say we’re a “Skype-first” company. With most of our workforce remote, we replace phone calls with Skype video calls to keep our employees connected. Different teams also use other forms of communication for quick messages -– both Gchat and Slack -– but everyone is given a Skype username when they start.
Every evening at 4:45 p.m., everyone on our team receives a simple email asking, “What did you get done today?” Our team replies to the email, and iDoneThis groups all the replies into one summary email and sends it out to the team the next morning at 8:00 a.m. iDoneThis has been an incredible tool for keeping everyone on the same page about our accomplishments and helping our team stay focused.
3. Salesforce Chatter
Our entire company is run on Salesforce systems, so it only makes sense that our internal communications would take place on the Chatter option in Salesforce. It’s like a Facebook feed, but professional. Teams can collaborate on projects in one place, share company-wide announcements, tag each other in tasks and post about after-work opportunities, like our company’s running club.
We primarily use email because it’s universally recognized and everybody has one and knows how to use it. It’s also the medium of communication that the vast majority of our clients use. That’s why we use email for most communication, whether internal or external.
Our small in-person team certainly collaborates face-to-face, but Slack is an enhancement to that communication. For work, Slack channels create an agile way to work out challenges, ask questions and just stay informed. In terms of culture, Slack allows staff to joke and have fun together. We have plenty of custom emojis and the /giphy feature is well-loved.
6. Confluence Wiki
Our team is spread across four continents in five time zones. To keep everyone on the same page, we use a Confluence wiki. It’s like Wikipedia for our company. Meeting notes, project specs, brainstorming sessions and ongoing processes are all held there in different interlinking areas. Maintaining one wiki also allows us to bring on new talent faster (and it reduces the need for email).
Gchat is the quickest way to get answers in our office. Our inboxes are constantly getting flooded, but the ping is a quick notification that lets us know there’s a time-sensitive response needed and we should answer.
We use Jira for project management, which is very efficient and helps everyone communicate on project timelines, bugs, deliverables and updates.
9. Google Hangouts
Our company runs a virtual team scattered across the nation, and we are often on the road or away from our desks. Google Hangouts is perfect because it’s a multi-platform tool. When we’re on the road, we can still communicate via our smartphone app, yet when we’re in the office we can use a full keyboard on our desktops. You can chat, call, screenshare or facetime, all in one tool.
– Andre Chandra, I Print N Mail
Asana is a project management system that allows communication within certain projects/tasks. It also integrates seamlessly with Slack. We mainly use Asana as our go-to form of digital communication because it’s an easy and effective app that organizes projects with step-by-step processes, due dates, personal assignments and a chat feature to communicate directly.
Our inboxes are already swamped, so we don’t need to congest it even more with team communication. Trello makes it easy for our team to comment back and forth with each other on individual tasks and allows everyone on that board to stay updated on what’s happening on each project. The best part is you can have Trello on your phone and easily keep tabs on work even when you’re not in the office.
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Ramon Ray, Editor & Technology Evangelist, Smallbiztechnology.com
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