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5 Communication Tips to Boost Your Teams’ Productivity



5 Communication Tips to Boost Your Teams' Productivity

The COVID-19 crisis changed the way we work.

While telecommuting was not uncommon in some parts of the world, the pandemic ensured that it became mainstream globally.

And it seems to be a trend that is here to stay.

But how is remote work impacting productivity?

 44% of employers said that remote work had made their employees more productive.

As an employer, that’s something you should be happy about.

But take that with a pinch of salt. Remote work brings other challenges, including loneliness, motivation issues, multiple distractions, communication issues, and more.

All of them can bring down your employee morale and affect their productivity.

If you are an effective leader who doesn’t want to go down this path, you need to take some precautionary steps.

Here are some strategies that you can incorporate to protect your workforce and keep their productivity level high:

1. Use Advanced Digital Tools

While working on projects, it’s important that your team is able to connect, collaborate, and communicate with each other smoothly.

Advanced digital tools can help you with it. Here are some types of tools that can use to make your remote work feel more connected:

Virtual Communication Tools

Virtual communication tools make it easier for your team to share messages with each other in real-time and conduct audio and video meetings.

Some of the most commonly used communication tools include:

  • Slack
  • Zoom
  • Skype
  • Microsoft Teams
  • Google Meet
  • Cisco Webex
  • GoToMeeting

Most of these tools allow you to conduct with your teammates or send text messages to communicate with them.

Ideally, you should use a combination of complementary tools to provide the best experience for your employees.

Project Management Tools

Coordination is necessary in projects that are handled by different teams. If you want to make sure that your team can plan multiple projects effectively, here are some of the tools you should try:

  • Basecamp
  • Trello
  • Asana
  • Zoho Projects
  • Hive
  • Airtable

In their own way, all of these tools make it possible to track the status of your projects and plan them in a better way.

Time Tracking Tools

Tools for time tracking can help you figure out how much time you are spending on a particular project. Overall, it can make a big difference to your productivity.

Here are some of the most popular time-tracking tools:

Storage Tools

Cloud-based storage tools make it easy for you to share and access online documents. For this, you can use tools like:

2. Outline Goals and Responsibilities Clearly

You should set short-term as well as long-term goals for all your employees’ benefit. Clearly stating what you expect from them ensures that they are aware of their responsibilities.

However, make sure you give them enough freedom to manage the tasks on their own. If you constantly check up on them, it can seem annoying to them.

Micro-management can ultimately lead to a dip in productivity and employee morale.

You should also allow your employees to work flexibly. They should have the freedom to work when they feel the most productive.

It’s a simple step but it can make a big difference to productivity.

You should also make sure that employees can check their performance and look for advancement opportunities. For this, you can recommend some self-improvement and time management books to your employees.

3. Show Appreciation For Work Done Well

Remote employees can often feel demotivated because there is a lack of connection with their team.

To boost their morale, make it a point to recognize their accomplishments and reward them for any work that they do well. It will make them feel motivated and seen.

Here are some ways you can show them your appreciation:

  • Send emails that are personalized
  • Give a shoutout in a meeting
  • Create a special platform to celebrate your employees’ accomplishments
  • Give special incentives
  • Provide extra vacation days
  • Send a gift hamper

4. Encourage Your Employees to Take Breaks

All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy. Heard the saying? There is a lot of truth to it. If your employees work hard without taking breaks in between, they are likely to burn themselves out.

Ultimately, it will impact their overall productivity level.

To avoid this scenario, it is important to encourage your employees to take a break, play some online jigsaw puzzles, practice hobbies and do other non-work related activities when they have down time.

They will feel better about themselves, and will be more motivated to get the job done, leaving you with more productivity.

5. Invest in Team Building Activities

You should conduct regular check-ins to ensure that your remote team stays connected. In fact, these meetings don’t even have to be work-related.

You can discuss non-work related issues as well. In fact, you can encourage your employees to discuss their passions or hobbies.

Alternatively, you can host a “Zoom drinks” party as well where everyone joins a video conference with a drink of their choice. Such informal events can help you in bringing your team feel closer.

6. Follow Up Regularly

While you don’t want to be breathing down your employee’s necks, you also don’t want to get disconnected from them.

Schedule follow-ups regularly so you can be on the same page about the status of different tasks. Some collaboration tools also have options to add special notes on tasks. Just a quick note can also make a big difference in communicating what is the status of a project.

Ready to Get Started?

With remote work becoming more mainstream, it is your responsibility to ensure that your team’s productivity stays on track.

From outlining clear responsibilities and using the right tools to encouraging more breaks, there is a lot you can do to motivate and engage your employees.

For the best results, you should use multiple strategies mentioned above. Experiment to see what works for your remote team.

What are you waiting for? It’s time to get started!

Got any questions on how to boost your remote team’s productivity? Please feel free to mention them in the comments section.

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The Ultimate Guide to Storytelling



The Ultimate Guide to Storytelling

Storytelling is an art.

Not a process, method, or technique. And — like art — it requires creativity, vision, skill, and practice. Storytelling isn’t something you can grasp in one sitting, after one course. It’s a trial-and-error process of mastery.


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How to Blog When You Have No Time



How to Blog When You Have No Time

Finding the time to blog is a frequent challenge for many marketers. Marketers often wear many hats and it can be difficult to focus long enough to churn out quality articles when you’re pressed for time.

How to blog when you have no time? We spoke with author and marketing expert David Meerman Scotton how to avoid common time management mistakes by developing a routine.

No matter what you’ve got on your marketing plate, it won’t get done without proper time management. Learning how to make the most of your time will greatly affect your productivity and overall success as a blogger.

Why is blogging time management important?

When it comes to creating content, maintaining consistency is key. This is why blogging time management is so important. You may not always feel motivated to create on a regular basis, but establishing a schedule will help you to stay consistent with your blog output.

For example, you may find that you’re better at writing in the mornings. So you can set aside 2 to 3 hours each morning to work on writing based on how many articles you’d like to produce each week.

Create a content calendar to help you plan your content in advance and set reasonable deadlines. Make note of holidays or seasonal events that may impact your content schedule.

Getting organized will help you set and achieve goals for your blog. If you’re starting from scratch, check out our guide to starting a blog.

How to Blog When You Have No Time

1. Use blog templates.

An easy way to jump-startyour creative process is to start with a template. Why suffer through writer’s block staring at a blank document if you don’t have to? HubSpot’s free blog post templatescan help you format your article and get started writing faster than starting from scratch.

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Templates function as an easy to follow outline where you can organize your thoughts and start to flesh out your content. HubSpot’s offer includes six templates ranging from how-to posts to pillar pages and infographics.

2. Develop a blogging routine.

In many ways blogging reminds David of exercising. In order to be successful at it, you will need to develop a routine. “It is programmed in,” David says. “It is about building it into your life and making it a second nature, like running in the mornings or doing yoga after work.”

Dedicate time each day to writing or allocate one to two designated writing days per week. Block time off on your calendar and turn off messaging apps to avoid interruptions while you write.

Once you’ve gotten organized and created a routine, you may find you had more time to write than previously thought.

3. Keep a list of ideas.

One way to save time coming up with content is to make sure you always have a running list of fresh ideas to work with. That way you’re not scrambling at the last minute for worthy topics.

Creating topic clusterscan help you flesh out your blog content strategy. A topic clusteris multiplearticles grouped by a shared topic or related topic. For example, you may have one pillar page that gives a broad overview of a topic. From there, you can create more in-depth, specific articles on related subtopics.

This will not only help you plan content but organize your site architecture as well.

4. Perform research prior to writing.

It’s much easier to write when you have all the pertinent information you want to include in one place. Research your chosen topic before sitting down to write and organize the information in a quick outline.

Include any keyword researchin this process so you can ensure your content aligns with what readers are searching for online. This way when you sit down to write, your only job is to write — not look up new facts.

5. Don’t edit while writing.

When writing it’s very tempting to want to stop and make corrections. Don’t do this. It breaks your writing flow.

Instead, write a rough draft withjust pops into your mind first. Follow your train of thought without stopping to fix typos or edit. The goal is to just get your thoughts on the page. Once your initial draft is written, you can always go back and make changes.

6. Perform article updates.

Another strategy is to build upon existing content by performing an article update. Giving your older content a refresh is not only good for SEO and your readers, but it can be a quick win for adding new content in a time crunch.

With older content, you may need to include additional research and update it for accuracy, but it generally takes less time than writing a new article from scratch. Review your existing content. Are there articles you can do a deeper dive on? Have there been industry advancements you can include? Is there a new angle to explore?

7. Find content ideas wherever you go.

By making blogging a life routine, you will come across creative content ideas much more frequently. Keep an open mind, observe new things that interest you personally and find ways to turn them into fodder for a blog post. By noticing world dynamics that get you excited and relating them to your audience, the process of blogging becomes a lot more natural and fun.

Accumulate content ideas from different situations in life and find ways to apply them to your industry.

8. Hire a freelancer.

Sometimes your workload is just too heavy and your efforts can be better used elsewhere. If you have the resources and budget to do it, hiring outside help may also be a great option.

Sites like Upwork, Contenta, and MediaBistro make it easy to find writing professionals. If looking to generate content on a larger scale, consider working with a content agency.

Blog Like A Pro

Creating content with a consistent cadence is an obstacle busy marketers frequently struggle with. Creating a schedule and mastering blogging time management will allow you to create even when you’re short on time.

This article was originally published in December 2010 and has been updated for comprehensiveness.

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How clean, organized and actionable is your data?



90% of marketers say their CDP doesn't meet current business needs

A customer data platform (CDP) centralizes an organization’s customer data, providing a single 360-view of each consumer that engages with the company. Yet there are still data-related considerations that organizations have to make beyond what the CDP does.

“[CDPs] were designed to fill a need – to enable a marketer to easily get to the data they need to create their segmentation and then go on and mark it from that point,” said George Corugedo, CTO of data management company Redpoint Global, at The MarTech Conference. “But the issue is that CDPs really don’t take care of the quality aspects of the data.”

Maintaining data quality also impacts segmentation, campaigns and privacy compliance challenges for marketing teams that use this data.

Data quality

The data in a CDP depends on the quality of where it came from. Therefore, an organization using a CDP must also consider the quality of the data sources and reference files used to build out the CDP.

“The inevitable question is going to be, how good is this data?” said Corugedo. “How much can I trust it to make a bold decision?”

This is something that has to be on every organization’s radar. For instance, when identity resolution is used, the issue depends on the quality of the third-party reference files. If they are provided by a telecommunications company or credit bureau as the data partner, those files might only be updated quarterly.

“It’s just not an optimal solution, but every single CDP on the market uses some form of reference file,” Corugedo stated.

It’s up to the data scientists and other team members working within the organization to own the accuracy of these data sources.

Read next: What is a CDP?

Segmentation and other actions

The quality of the data using specific reference files and sources will vary and will impact the confidence that marketers have in creating segments and using them when deploying campaigns.

Marketers have to make this decision at a granular level, based on the trustworthiness of data from a particular lineage.

“If they have a campaign that is reliant on suspect data, they can actually delay that campaign and say maybe we wait until that data gets refreshed,” said Corugedo.

Otherwise, marketers are just “spraying and praying.”

Using rules instead of lists

The advantage of having a CDP is unification of all data. But the data is being updated all the time. Instead of deploying campaigns based on a fixed list of customers, the use of rules to define segments allows marketers to update who they engage in the campaign.

“A list, as soon as it’s detached from the database, starts to decay because it doesn’t get any updates anymore,” Corugedo, adding that using lists takes longer to execute a campaign.

Lower quality from data that isn’t updated can have serious implications for healthcare and other industries, where accuracy is essential. 

“Instead, rules are passed through the campaign just like they would be with a list, but those rules reevaluate every time there’s a decision point to make sure that only the qualified people get the particular content at that point,” Corugedo explained.

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Privacy and regulatory compliance

Maintaining data quality through a Redpoint Global dashboard, or a similar combination of tools and data personnel, will also help an organization manage privacy.

The crucial point is that people on the team know where the data came from and how it’s being used in campaigns. The stakes for sending out relevant messaging are high. Privacy and compliance issues raise the bar even higher.

If you’re using a CDP, you can save headaches and extra labor by using a tool that has compliance and privacy baked in, so to speak.

“What we’ve done is embrace some of this complexity and absorb it into the environment, so the marketer never even sees it,” said Corugedo. “What we do is with every implementation, we will implement a PII vault that keeps PII data super secure, and we can anonymize the marketing database.”

This way, personal information of individual customers (PII) is never violated.

“Marketers ultimately don’t necessarily need to have visibility to PII,” Corugedo explained “They like to see it for testing purposes and making sure that it looks right and everything, but the truth is we can do that in other ways without revealing PII.”

Having a handle on data quality adds to the confidence marketing teams have in creating segments and executing campaigns, and it can also help protect the customer’s privacy and guard against regulatory infringements.

Facts not fiction: Beyond the CDP from Third Door Media on Vimeo.

About The Author

Chris Wood draws on over 15 years of reporting experience as a B2B editor and journalist. At DMN, he served as associate editor, offering original analysis on the evolving marketing tech landscape. He has interviewed leaders in tech and policy, from Canva CEO Melanie Perkins, to former Cisco CEO John Chambers, and Vivek Kundra, appointed by Barack Obama as the country’s first federal CIO. He is especially interested in how new technologies, including voice and blockchain, are disrupting the marketing world as we know it. In 2019, he moderated a panel on “innovation theater” at Fintech Inn, in Vilnius. In addition to his marketing-focused reporting in industry trades like Robotics Trends, Modern Brewery Age and AdNation News, Wood has also written for KIRKUS, and contributes fiction, criticism and poetry to several leading book blogs. He studied English at Fairfield University, and was born in Springfield, Massachusetts. He lives in New York.

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