Business owners and managers have enough on their plates without having to mediate employee disagreements. Simple differences in personality and approaches to getting work done can cause friction between co-workers, but many workplace disagreements actually come from a far more controllable problem.
According to Benoy Tamang, CEO of eFileCabinet, provider of document management tools, “a majority of the disagreements that arise in the workplace stem from the communication barriers imposed by outdated or inefficient technology.”
Tamang has identified the five “killer” conversations that can be avoided by the use of efficient document management technology. With these systems, employers and managers can avoid playing the intermediary and focus on growing and maintaining a successful business.
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The “that’s not my responsibility” conversation
Most workers don’t like picking up someone else’s slack around the office or doing someone else’s job for them entirely. In a paper-dependent office, “That’s not my responsibility” can often surface for several reasons:
- Employees have a harder time keeping track of project information and often feel the need to handle all the tasks associated with a project themselves.
- Lack of a clearly-defined workflow and task delegation process. Whose responsibility is it really?
- Paper-dependent organizations frequently lose —and therefore need to re-create — information, requiring someone to recreate the lost information no matter how hard they play the “that’s not my responsibility” card.
The “your desk is distractingly messy” conversation
If you have a messy desk, Forbes.com reports that 57 percent of your coworkers are already judging you. And even if your desk isn’t messy, you’ve likely had a coworker or two with a distractingly-cluttered desk. Nine times out of 10, the desk’s clutter is comprised of paper in the form of sticky notes, errant printed documents, or the occasional (or not so occasional) grease-laden paper towels from the office kitchen.
What’s more, the smaller your co-worker’s desk, the more likely someone sitting near them has begged a desk cleanup or some other type of intervention. Moving away from a paper-dependent operation and implementing an effective protocol to encourage its use will mean cleaner working spaces and happier coworkers in clutter-free surroundings.
The “I don’t know where that is” conversation
At face value, this conversation is sometimes subtly related to the “not my responsibility” conversation, and both can have a comparatively negative impact on an organization’s bottom line.
The data natural to a document management system — file naming, file retrieval, and storage templating — can make it easier to find and use even archived documents.
The “where’s that email?” conversation
The explosion of email and messaging, many of which come with attached files, makes it difficult to categorize, identify, and retrieve incoming information. Integrating document technology with Microsoft Outlook can create a spam-free repository free so employees can more easily use and manage a flood of email communication.
The “I don’t want you to work from home” conversation
Maximizing productivity can, at times, mean having employees who work remotely or from home. The biggest challenge can be the security of workplace information and data accessed by remote employees. Moving to a cloud-based, online document management software with secure access to files from any internet connection is more and more becoming a viable business practice.
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Workspace organization is as important as effective communication in keeping morale upbeat. Dependence on paper-based systems — and all their attendant management and retrieval challenges — can set your employees up for avoidable disagreements that distract the organization from more productive and profitable tasks.
In-house and cloud-based document management systems put information at your employees’ fingertips and can deliver simplified assignment, tracking, retrieval, and management capabilities across your company.
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