Conference calls (read: meetings where many people get on the phone at the same time while they work on 2-3 other things) have become the standard for many companies seeking to get many people located in many places on the same page. Even as technology has come along introducing more productive communication methods like web meetings, video conferencing, and web real time communications, many companies have decided to stick with the old standby of conference calling.
Perhaps this is a case of the “this is how we have always done it so we should keep doing it,” but if that was how companies truly made business decisions we would find ourselves sitting around waiting for the pony express to deliver our mail. Fact is, business changes and for the most part we change along with it. However sometimes we wait until we have to change before we do change which is unfortunate.
While the status quo of conference calls may not seem like a big deal to most of us, when you look at some of the statistics related to the effectiveness of conference calls you may be inclined to change your mind. Did you know that according to a study performed by HP, participants in conference calls only retain about 10% of the information shared? They also shared that we only retain about 20% of what we read in business correspondence such as email. In the same study HP found that when we are able to see and hear simultaneously using video that we are able to retain nearly 80% of what we are presented?
If we changed the way we presented this data to a question such as, “Would you prefer to get 10% of your employee’s attention or 80% of your employees attention?” What do you think most businesses would say?
It isn’t About Technology, It is About Productivity
It is all too often that businesses run away from technology changes often sighting expense and integration as roadblocks. I’ve heard them all. “Our people are too Old School for that.” “That’s not how our business is done.” The problem is that this is a shortsighted approach to a more important issue. Employee Engagement.
Companies would almost unanimously tell you that their single biggest expense is its employees. At the same time smart companies would also look at their employees as their single most important asset.If this is indeed true, the desire should be to provide employees with the tools required to be as successful as possible and if collaborating is part of their job offering, a conference call is no longer enough.
This begs the question, how are you helping your most important assets to achieve more in a connected world? The young smart people that you want to attract are already connected and they will expect any business that they join to be the same. What technology are you currently leveraging in making your people more productive and attracting the best and brightest?
- Kelly McCarthy, President