How Much Do Poor Business Communication Tools and Practices Cost You?

Posted by Jason Boutwell on May 20, 2016

unified communicationHow much time do you think you spend just trying to communicate with co-workers? Subtract the time you actually have productive conversations – instead add up the time it takes to hunt down your targeted conversationalist.

More often than not, projects are stalled because you're trying to track down that one person who has the information or permission you need. In order for the project to move, time is wasted searching for your co-communicator, calling their office, texting their phone, emailing, etc. Until you finally reach them and get the information you need to keep your project moving. 

At the minimum, I’d be willing to bet five minutes per day are spent trying to locate someone you need to speak with – what do you think? Those five minutes add up to more than 21 hours per year; meaning half a workweek – per year, per employee – is spent just TRYING to locate the right person to talk to (this doesn’t include the time spent ACTUALLY communicating).

A Potential Solution

With so many technological advances, it's surprising how many businesses try to communicate with technologically ancient phone systems. As a solution, I propose a communication system that operates more closely to the way you do business: a unified communications system.

When meeting with businesses, I walk through a few calculations. First, I show the actual cost of poor internal communications. Second, I show the savings their organization can achieve by providing their employees with unified communications.

If you’d like to crunch the numbers on your own, you can use my calculator here (for free). If you are looking for a ballpark number, here’s a chart of general reference points for an organization’s potential savings:

 
Number of
Employees 
Company Wide Weekly Time Savings
(in minutes)
Total Company Wide Monthly HR Labor Savings 
(Assuming $23 hourly cost/full time employee)
25 625 $998.26
50 1,250 $1,996.53
100 2,500 $3,993.06
250 6,250 $9,982.64
500 12,500 $19,965.28

What is Unified Communications?

In very basic terms, unified communications (UC) integrates all of your business communication tools into one system – phone, email, instant messaging, voicemail, presence, etc. Mitel states, “[UC] allows users to communicate in whatever manner best suits their needs or situation. And the individual tools are interconnected so that access is streamlined and efficient.”

Tools and Technology Can’t Fix Everything

While the tools and technology can make communication simpler, and more convenient per user, they can’t solve poor business communication habits. The success of organizations is reliant on their employees’ abilities to communicate effectively. And poor business communication practices can lead to serious issues, including:

  • Low efficiency and productivity
  • Poor employee morale
  • Increased uncertainty or confusion
  • Limited collaboration
  • Little resource and idea sharing

Technology gives everyone the capacity to communicate effectively, but the ability has to be taught and learned through training and experience. In a LinkedIn article by Marc-André Lanciault, CEO of Karelab, he shared 10 tips for effective workplace communication:

  1. Know Your Audience
  2. Manage the Conversation
  3. Use Silence as a Conversation Tool
  4. Identify Indicators of Danger
  5. Identify Potential Conflicts
  6. Manage Time
  7. Communicate with Confidence
  8. Send Positive Vibes
  9. Respect the Confidentiality of Information
  10. Reach a Satisfying Conclusion

Taking Action

As a business leader or IT director, the easiest step is ensuring your people have the tools they need to communicate effectively. The rest can be taught. Be the one to empower your company's business communication by providing the proper tools. 

If you are interested in a unified communications system for your organization, I encourage you to start by calculating your organization's potential savings with this calculator.

The investment truly pays for itself in time saved; and, if you'd like to run the numbers together – schedule a time to chat with a communication specialist.

What Cloud Communication Technology is Right for Your Business? Use Our Interactive Flowchart

Topics: Phone Systems, Unified Communication, UCaaS, Poor Communication