06 Sep Transform Collaboration with Microsoft Skype for Business
Enterprise culture is changing as many businesses work to establish startup-like collaboration and flexibility to fuel innovation and gain a competitive edge. Advanced communication tools have become critical as this cultural shift has gained momentum, and Microsoft Skype for Business has emerged as an easy-to-use solution for the modern enterprise.
The longstanding collaboration problem
Creating genuine team environments in which people actually work together on projects instead of simply taking a divide-and-conquer approach is a major challenge in the enterprise. There are a few core problems with teamwork in business settings, including:
- It often takes longer to get something done as a team than it would for an individual to take care of it. Many organizations end up prioritizing efficiency and productivity, even if they talk a great deal about teamwork, sending mixed signals that lead to teams dividing projects to get them done as quickly as possible instead of working together to get the best result.
- Getting people together for meetings can be extremely difficult. Busy schedules, diverse work locations and time-sensitive projects can all lead to team meetings getting pushed onto the back burner. What’s more, many enterprise collaboration tools don’t naturally mesh with operational requirements, forcing users to step outside their usual processes in order to work with a team.
- Roles are often not defined within a team, leaving everybody a bit uncertain about what they are meant to achieve and how they should contribute to the group. This is especially problematic with teams that feature employees from different disciplines or levels of the organization, as the team can fail to gel if everybody stays divided into their separate organizational roles and neglect to figure out how they fit on a team.
All of these issues can severely limit collaboration in the enterprise, but businesses can break down the barriers that prevent them from establishing good teams. Tools like Microsoft Skype for Business make this process easier by simplifying communication in a variety of ways, allowing you to reinforce culture with the technology you give end users.
“Establishing a culture of teamwork isn’t just about getting the right message across.”
Making cultural changes to support teamwork
Establishing a culture of teamwork in the workplace isn’t just about getting the right message across. You can talk about valuing teams all you want, but it won’t mean anything until employees feel empowered to work in teams and have workloads that allow them to focus on getting projects done right, not just as quickly as possible. You can’t slow down operations to a crawl to accommodate teamwork, but you can get away from an environment where everybody feels swamped so workers feel able to prioritize teamwork when appropriate. Beyond this big-picture cultural shift, a few ways to back up messaging about teams with action include:
- Celebrate teams that are successful.
- Set clear expectations about individual and team goals.
- Treat teamwork as a normal part of the business.
- Keep managers and other leaders informed of team activities involving their subordinates.
- Make teamwork easy and convenient by giving users technology and other tools to simplify communication.
This last point is especially important when it comes to establishing a culture of teamwork and collaboration. It can be tempting, even in the best of circumstances, to get work done in the easiest way possible. If collaboration is tedious, forces users to work with clunky communications tools or requires that they must drop everything even to answer a simple email or instant message, there’s a good chance you will run into problems getting employees on board. Modern collaboration tools like Microsoft Skype for Business can ensure you get past these barriers.
“Skype for Business resolves many longstanding collaboration challenges.”
Using Skype for Business to unlock the potential of teamwork
Skype for Business resolves many of the challenges long associated with enterprise collaboration technologies by being simple enough to make it easy to use, but powerful enough to get the job done in a wide variety of circumstances. A few major benefits of Skype for Business are:
- Automatic syncing between Outlook schedules and contacts and the Skype for Business app.
- Videoconferencing functionality in an app that also includes instant messaging and other collaboration tools to help users make the most of the event.
- Functionality on a wide range of device types.
- Ability to support up to 250 users in a single meeting.
- Authentication and encryption features that ensure information shared in meetings is passed between users securely.
All of these capabilities add up to create a powerful business collaboration tool that can bring your teams together. This can reduce travel expenses as teams can meet virtually instead of needing to come together from diverse office locations. The tool empowers your human resources teams to hire the most qualified recruits – even if they don’t live close to your office, as they can collaborate just as easily through Skype for Business as they would be able to if they were working in the same location as your other users.
All told, Skype for Business brings together your workforce, allowing them live out the culture of teamwork you put into place and glean the full benefits of collaboration.