One Secret of Effective Workplace Communication
Why have some companies thrived in an increasingly competitive global economy while others could not survive? The secret is effective team management. With so many businesses fighting for a place in the market, there is a growing interest in tools that help teams to manage projects and increase productivity. One of these tools, the whiteboard, can facilitate efficient communication among coworkers.
Efficient workplace teams use whiteboards to quickly communicate essential, time-sensitive information. Stationary whiteboards can be preprinted with a calendar, data table, work flow grid, or any custom text. Having the basic information already printed makes the display neat and saves staff time. Use dry erase markers or text magnets to update the board with the current information. For example, staff names can be printed on magnets and moved around the board to show who is working a shift, where they may be found, and which tasks are their priorities.
Whiteboards are easy to wipe clean and keep looking brand new, so they are appropriate even for public areas of a business. A reception area is a great place to post a delivery or service schedule. With this system, employees and customers will not have to go to their computer wait for an online system to sync up in order to stay informed and stay on schedule. When restaurants use whiteboards effectively, they can be great tools to communicate between the kitchen and the dining area. When an ingredient or dish runs out of stock, the kitchen staff writes it on the board for table servers to see. Servers must be able to see the board frequently, and ideally before they submit their orders.
In addition to using whiteboards to post time-sensitive information, workplace teams are using them as discussion forums. Using an erasable board in brainstorming sessions encourages collaborative thinking and captures creative ideas. When the whole team is able to see the big picture, individual members feel more committed to long-term projects, empowered to help make key decisions, and inspired to improve company practices and work flow. To put together your global idea board, choose either a mobile whiteboard that can be rolled into meeting rooms or a stationary whiteboard that can be hung in a shared space. For larger teams, multiple idea boards are a great idea. A successful idea board is not a document owned by one employee; everyone must be able to access and edit the whiteboard. With shared ownership, the team is more likely to participate actively in change rather than reacting adversely to new ideas that seems to be externally imposed.
Whether you want to help your staff organize key details quickly and clearly or show your whole team the big picture, whiteboards are an excellent communication platform. Preprinted magnet boards are great time savers for updating daily agendas, monthly calendars, or other schedules. The quick and clean dry erase design makes whiteboards great for communicating in either public or staff areas. For longer term planning, use an idea board to encourage collaborative thinking. When all team members are asked to edit and add to the idea board, everyone can take ownership of planning and eventually implementing the new project.