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Customer experience isn’t the only thing that business owners need to think about when they’re building a successful mid-sized enterprise. Happy employees are often the key to happy customers, which means that you need to concentrate on delivering good employee experience before anything else.
You’d think that in today’s digital world, maintaining a happy workforce would be simple. All you need to do is sign up for the right selection of tools, and you have endless software ready to provide your team members with the information they need, right? Unfortunately, it’s that endless access to data that’s quickly becoming a problem for a lot of employees.
According to 36% of managers, workplace satisfaction is a problem because of the excessive amount of information that people need to process at work. So, what exactly is information overload, and how can using the G Suite help you to overcome it?
The Impact of Information Overload
Information overload is the idea that excessive amounts of data is making it harder for your team members to get work done efficiently and effectively. Around 65.2% of UK employees said that their work is often negatively impacted by the high amount of information they’re managing at work. Another 91% of US employees admit that they often delete or discard work-related info without reading it.
Most employees need to deal with excessive amounts of information every day at work and figuring out how to use that information properly requires a lot of brainpower. If you’re constantly dealing with the headache of information overload, you could be one of the companies that are contributing to $900 billion each year in lowered productivity and innovation.
It’s not just the amount of information that team members need to process that presents a problem to companies. The biggest issue is the fact that many employees are handling irrelevant information. This means that team members are wasting time wading through data that has nothing to do with their job or their needs.
Information overload is usually associated with:
- Too much information in the workplace.
- Irrelevant information being shared at work.
- A lack of alignment between the various discussions happening in the workplace.
- Not enough time given to help employees process the right information.
- A lack of strategic vision or alignment in the workplace.
How to Stop Information Overload with G Suite
Eliminating information overload in the workplace in a time where data is everywhere isn’t easy. However, for most companies, it starts with getting the right communication and collaboration strategy in place. A good plan for communication, combined with a productivity suite like Google’s G Suite can make all the difference to the way that your team accesses and uses information.
Here are some of our top tips for how you can use your G Suite account to tackle the problem of information overload and accomplish your business goals.
- Find the Right Communication Channels.
- Make the Most of Your Communication Channels.
- Use Labels and Filters to Get Organized.
- Make the Most out Of Each Conversation.
- Keep Experimenting with Your Technology.
One of the biggest sources of information overload in the digital workplace is the huge number of communication channels that we’re all using these days. Employees in many organizations need to deal with things like project management tools, company intranets, emails, private messaging apps, and even document sharing tools.
While all of these tools have their benefits, using them simultaneously leads to a lot of noise in your workplace. It becomes increasingly difficult to keep up with all the conversations that are happening in your environment. The key to success is making sure that you have the right kinds of communication channels in your environment, and that they all work well together.
For instance, Google’s Hangouts solution, as well as tools like Chat and Meet allow your team members to instantly access conversations from within their cloud documents, calendar, and other apps. Because all of the G Suite tools work seamlessly together, it’s easy to set up a video conference from within a spreadsheet in a matter of seconds. You can also click on a link within a Gmail account to access a quick messaging meeting, or switch between channels simultaneously.
Combining all of your must-have tools for collaboration and communication into a single environment where people don’t have to constantly jump from one tab or application to another can save your team members a lot of time. What’s more, when your communication strategies are properly aligned, it becomes a lot easier to keep track of things like meeting recordings and important messages.
Once you’ve found the right, well-aligned communication channels for your team, you need to think about how you can use them as effectively as possible. One thing to note, is that beeps and alerts from incoming messages can easily interrupt the focus of your team members. Because of this, it’s often a good idea for team leaders to ask their employees to designate a set time each day for responding to email and chat messages.
Tools like Google Hangouts Chat and Gmail both come with Mute and Snooze functions that allow you to manage your focus more efficiently. You can also use the High Priority Notifications feature for Google to boost your chances of only getting the messages that need your attention the most.
As well as encouraging your team members to use their email and messaging notifications properly, it’s also helpful to invest in communication tools that make it a lot easier to organize messages too. For instance, in 2013, Google introduced tabbed inboxes in Gmail to help sort your categories into a simple and organized environment for tracking down useful content. Over the years, Google has built on that functionality, using classification systems combined with machine learning.
The AI-enhanced capabilities in Gmail make it easier to determine where emails should be placed based on various signals, including where emails come from, and the content in the message. This strategy for message management makes it a lot easier for your team members to track down the information they need when they need it – even if they’ve had their emails on Mute for a while.
Finding ways to make mailboxes and other forms of communication technology work more efficiently and effectively for your team members is one of the best ways to make sure that everyone in your team stays on the same page, without being overwhelmed by information.
In a workplace, it can feel like every piece of information you receive is crucial. However, when every email and message is “urgent” nothing can get the right amount of attention. The immediacy of modern communication strategies can be both a benefit and a headache to the modern worker. Fortunately, with Google’s help, it’s easier to ensure that you don’t end up buried under a stack of messages come from multiple different directions.
For instance, you can begin by asking yourself whether you’re the right person to respond to a message. If not, then Google gives you the option to tag and add other people to the conversation. You can also organize your messages according to those that need a response, and the messages that you can simply consider, but don’t require any action on your behalf.
There are various handy features in Gmail that can help you to keep on top of your correspondence. However, one of our favorite options when it comes to handling information overload is labeling and sorting messages with filters. These filters allow you to organize your inbox according to your specific needs. You can create labels for VIP emails, or get notifications archived if they’re taking up space in your brain.
If you need to respond to something quickly and get it off your to-do list as quickly as possible, then you can use the AI-enhanced smart reply features with Google’s Hangouts Chat and Gmail apps. Additionally, there’s the option to instantly schedule a meeting with your Gmail calendar if you think that the discussion requires the input of other members of your team.
We’re living in a world where it’s easy for supervisors and managers to send out dozens of mass notifications at once without thinking about it. However, it’s exactly this kind of behavior that leads to problems like information overload in the first place. It’s the people at the head of a team, like supervisors and admins, that need to be careful about how they’re sharing information with their teams.
For instance, you can think about why you’re communicating a message to your employees and be clear about that from the start of your message. For instance, adding something that says “FYI” to the subject line on an email can help your employees to instantly differentiate between a crucial message and something that they can check on later.
It’s also worth making sure that you’re respectful of your team members’ boundaries – particularly if you want them to benefit from a good work/life balance. Ensure that you’re not sending messages on a weekend or when your team members aren’t at work. Use the Google feature for scheduling messages with Gmail so your employees don’t feel pressurized to keep on top of information when they’re not in the office.
You can even tap into other features on Google’s G Suite to figure out what’s working for your employees and what isn’t. For instance, with Google Forms, you can quickly and easily set up a questionnaire to find out how your employees like to receive information, and what they want to stop getting updates on. You can also make your surveys anonymous so that your employees are more likely to feel comfortable sharing authentic feedback.
One of the biggest benefits of using something like G Suite in your business is that Google is constantly adding new features and functionality into the mix to make teams more effective and efficient. For instance, you can enable nudges in Gmail that ensure that you’re never going to forget about responding to an important message. Alternatively, you can check through your Chat history for keywords if you need to catch up on a conversation fast.
The G Suite comes packed with features that allow people to collaborate and communicate in real-time, and the experience continues to get better by the year. Google is always implementing the latest artificial intelligence and productivity boosts to the G Suite to ensure that your employees feel inspired and motivated, not just overwhelmed by information.
You can even use G Suite with the existing applications and tools that your employees already rely on. A robust marketplace and the ability to integrate with dozens of additional tools, including Microsoft Office files means that your team members can spend less of their time jumping between tools in the workplace, and more time getting valuable work done.
Keeping up to date with the latest updates from Google, and the new product features that could be coming on the horizon means that you can always stay one step ahead of building a better company culture for your team.
Ready to Eliminate Information Overload?
Overcoming a complicated problem like information overload isn’t always easy. But with the right technology in place and a good plan, you’ll already be on the right path.
G Suite isn’t just an excellent tool for enterprises because it’s packed full of tools that make your team more productive. This technology can also help to improve efficiency and deliver more satisfied and engaged employees too. By reducing the threat of information overload and giving your employees an environment that’s conducive to more engaging work, you can boost your chances of happier talent, and reduced turnover.
Are you ready to learn more about G Suite and how it can help you to accomplish great things in your business? Contact the team at Cool Head Tech and Apps Admins today to unlock the benefits of Google.