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When workers perform their duties in the field, they are constantly pressed for time. Between traveling complex routes, meeting up with retailers, and completing forms there is very little time to be wasted. That means the communication between managers and reps needs to be efficient, effective, and clear. Too often, important messages and directions either get lost or become unimportant in the mix of emails, texts, and posted announcements. To simplify communication with your reps in the field, there are two major steps to take:

1. Make “Quick” Communication Quick

The perception of email as a “quick” communication tool is quickly fading. While the speed of sending an email is nearly instantaneous, employees are spending too much of their time answering email messages. The average employee checks their email 74 times a day. If the email you send to your rep is number 74, the chances of getting a quick response are slim.

One way to speed up communication in business is to use platforms that demand instant replies. The use of instant messaging tools offer quicker response times and streamlined searches. A patent for optimizing instant messaging, done by International Business Machines Corporation, cited research which said instant messages have a response time between 12 seconds and eight minutes. Additionally, when using a feature like Gchat, each communicator can instantly see the chat history, relieving them of having to search through piles of emails for prior information.

With some companies having 45% of their employees working remotely, clear and quick communication has never been more important. Businesses with a significant amount of remote workers may want to look into Field Activity Management (FAM) software which allows you to directly message your team on specific projects, like a retail audit or product order. Giving your team a tool that allows this sort of specialized communication will create a fast and focused business processes.

2. Make Complex Communication Easier

Instant messaging platforms perform well for specific comments on projects or tasks, but can also be used when your communication is targeted to a large audience. One way to get company-wide information across is through meetings, but this is often an inefficient use of your team’s time, as they have to spend travel time to get in the office. One solution to this issue is group messaging. Many software solutions have a feature that allows managers to send out big announcements, like an upcoming promotion. Instead of a company-wide announcement competing in a pile of emails, it can be sent using an instant message platform, and appear like a text. This allows your entire team to see important updates on their mobile devices without having to come into the office.

Other business communications, such as policy changes, often use complex language in a loaded platform like an employee handbook. This form of communication will often be overlooked or dismissed due to a pure lack of employee interest. Businesses should demystify this type of complex communication by displaying it in a different platform. For example, take WordPress.com’s Scott Burken, who switched to using blog posts to convey company information rather than handbooks. Using the conversational language of blogs, Burken was able to convey important information to his team without distracting them with complex language or overly complicated platforms.

Why Simple Communication Matters

Aside from saving time, businesses have much to gain from simplified communication. When communication flows with ease, goal alignment is strengthened; with only 7% of employees truly understanding their role in completing business goals, this benefit of healthy communication is crucial. Additionally, the more businesses simplify, the faster they work. That means more time for reps to build retail relationships and focus on important tasks like audits. To simplify your remote team’s communication, take advantage of instant messaging, explore FAM software benefits, and get creative with how you present complex messages. By following these three steps, your business’ goals and tasks will become clear and employees will be confident in achieving them.