How to boost effective communication among employees and save a lot of money
Written by: Zohar Amihud
For businesses with branches or salespersons spread throughout the country, effective communication is critical to survival in a competitive and dynamic market.
While Internet surfing speed has increased and can be done from any device and on any size screen, at the same time there are more traffic jams, average travel time has increased, it takes longer to get to and from the workplace. We don't need surveys to tell us what we experience daily on the roads, and in the end that affects work efficiency. Want proof? Already Israelis spend an average of one-and-a-half hours a day on the road, and the Transportation and Finance Ministries estimate that in coming years travelers will waste an additional 60 minutes (Globes, 9 March 2016).
A true story
Goodies is a young company, a leader in local fashion design. The spokesmodel of Goodies, actress Tal Bareli, appears on billboards and promotes the young fashion chain.
The chain has stores throughout the country – from Eilat in the south, to Tel Aviv in the center of the country, up through Haifa all the way to Nahariya in the north; a total of 28 stores.
Every quarter, Ms. Ya'ara Ben-Yifrach, Deputy CEO in charge of training and human resources, convenes all of the branch managers, the regional managers and the supervisors for a seminar at the company's headquarters in Petah Tikva. The seminar begins at 9:00 sharp.
Galit, the manager of Goodies' Beer Sheva branch, is getting ready to go to the meeting in Petah Tikva: she gets up at 5:30 am, leaves the house at 6:30, and starts the trip to Petah Tikva.
Up to Rishon Lezion traffic is flowing, but then Galit hits the big traffic jam of the Dan region. Traffic moves slowly and Galit is feeling irritated. The news briefs on the radio annoy her; even Shai and Dror on FM 103 fail to amuse her.
Finally, she gets out of the jam and arrives in Petah Tikva, but the nightmare doesn't end. The parking lots in the Petah Tikva industrial zone, where Goodies' offices are located, are packed full, and Galit drives around and around, hopefully (that's why the city is called Petah Tikva – tikva means "hope"), searching for a parking space, all the while feeling that she will burst from the stress.
Ya'ara would like to convene the branch managers more than once a month, but the cost of the seminar, including travel expenses, lunch/snacks, parking, and time wasted on the road deter the management from approving a monthly meeting.
Another argument raised by the company CEO is that the most important person and the best worker in the store (the manager) isn't in the store the day of the seminar; she's wasting her time on a long trip to the main office. Therefore, it's not logical and not economical to bring the managers once a month; once every three months is enough, he says.
Goodies' security officer, Mr. Yakov Hamo, sends regular updates to the branch stores about issues for which he's responsible. He does this via email, and also by means of the cash register system that allows him to send information.
At the quarterly seminar, Ya'ara gives him a few minutes to brief the branch managers, but the time allocated to him is never enough.
Yaakov spends hours on the telephone and explains time and again the meanings of the email that he sends and also answers the same questions from the branch managers – every time a different branch, in a one-on-one conversation.
If someone were to tell you that it's possible to convey your message live to hundreds of people, without leaving your office and without having your employees leave their workplace to travel around the country, would you want to hear more?
One of the ways to convey a message live to hundreds of participants, each one in his own place with his preferred device – laptop, tablet, smartphone – is via webinar services. By holding a webinar meeting or lecture, businesses can convey their message quickly and effectively with good-quality sound and image, while saving a lot of time and money.
Webinars are often used for in-house workers' training, suppliers' training, marketers' training or for marketing and sales needs. The webinar is broadcast live, is interactive – the participants can ask questions – and it is also recorded on videotape, for people who couldn't be present at the webinar, or for participants who want to watch and listen to it again.
To sum up – this is the way things are done with webinar
Ya'ara will conduct training sessions for the branch and regional managers and the supervisors via a webinar system, and all the participants can be wherever is convenient for them.
- The best worker in the branch can stay there and still participate;
- Employees won't waste hours on the road, won't use gas, won't pollute the atmosphere, and will save a lot of money and precious time.
- Using webinars, communication with the branches is much more efficient and the ability of the participants to ask the presenter questions in real time contributes to a better understanding of the subject material.
Yaakov the security officer will continue to send updates to the branches by email and via the cash register system, but from time to time he will upload a webinar in which he answers the managers' questions on a live broadcast, thereby forestalling many problems and misunderstandings in carrying out his instructions.
And the CEO? His next New Year's greeting will be delivered by live broadcast to hundreds of corporate employees who will see and hear him on their smartphones – IPhone, Samsung, LG or whatever, wherever they happen to be.
Is this possible in your organization?
Zohar Amihud, from Webinar Services, is a consultant to organizations and companies who want to convey messages via the Internet. Among his clients: the Export Institute, Newpharm, Physio Logic, Michal Tzafir, Alan Carr, NIloosoft, Masa Aher Online, and others. Zohar has conducted hundreds of training webinars for workers, suppliers, marketers and also for marketing and sales needs.