Teamwork. Cohesiveness. Streamlined collaboration. A unified front. These factors can pretty much make or break your business. The more aligned your team is, the better its output will be, and the less firefighting you’ll have to deal with.
Whether you’re running a digital agency, selling products as a small business, or you’re a consultant who tends to collaborate with many white-labeled external service providers, you stand to gain dramatically if you have a team that performs like clockwork.
To help you achieve that end, allow me to share with you five crucial tools that can help make your team more cohesive.
Kajabi is a one-stop-shop learning management system (LMS). With Kajabi, it becomes easier for your team to create multi-episode instructional videos or text-based training programs to make your onboarding process for new employees faster.
That bit is important, because the alternative would mean someone from your team will have to manually walk newly onboarded employees through your processes and standards — something that could take countless manpower hours (even days) from your tenured member/s.
This can cause projects to be delayed, or even frustration among your team members. What’s more, because the newly onboarded employee is aware of how much time he/she is consuming from your tenured employee, they’ll have a strong sense of performance anxiety — which would make their learning process even more challenging.
With Kajabi, however, you can streamline your onboarding process by uploading videos, accompanying documents, and setting up quizzes (among other things) one time, so you can show them to all of your newly hired employees.
You only have to direct them to your training modules, and you should manage to orient and train them to a good extent about the inner workings of your company.
The best part is, using Kajabi is insanely easy. They even have pre-made templates — they call this Product Blueprints — to help you speed up the time you’ll spend creating your training and onboarding programs.
Here are some of their Product Blueprints.
I selected the Evergreen Training, and this is the pre-made module that Kajabi showed me.
Pretty sweet, huh?
As you can see, because of the template, you won’t have to conceive of a structure for your onboarding or training modules from scratch. Kajabi already has a framework prepared for you – you just need to prepare and plug in your own content.
Kajabi’s plans start at $149/month and come with a 14-day free trial.
2. Time Doctor
Time Doctor is a productivity app that allows you to track the time you and your team spend during your work hours. This is a must-have app if you’re working with a virtual team and paying them an hourly rate.
For starters, Time Doctor gives you the option to capture screenshots of your team's screens while they're using the app. This allows you to review their timesheet to see not only what task they're doing, but also how long it's taking. That way, you can give each of your team members a more realistic deadline that they can meet without sacrificing the quality of their work.
Although Time Doctor gives you the option to assign specific tasks to your team members on its dashboard, it also integrates with popular project management tools like Asana and JIRA.
Integrating this app with the project management platform you’re using eliminates the need to retrain your team and get them accustomed to using a new tool.
At the same time, you can see the different websites and applications your team's using and how much time they're spending on each one.
Time Doctor’s pricing plan starts at $10 per user/month and comes with a 14-day free trial.
Duda is a website builder platform that’s specifically designed for freelance web developers and digital agencies. One thing that’s especially great about Duda is it allows you and your team to edit your client’s website on both your computer or mobile device. This allows your team to quickly address any concerns your clients may have about their website even if they are mobile.
But arguably the most invaluable feature that Duda offers is its host of team collaboration tools.
In addition to being able to assign various access levels to each of your team members and clients, Duda also comes with a Site Comments feature. This paves the way for more efficient discussions between your team and your clients regarding design projects as they take shape.
Your project managers and clients can add a comment to a specific spot on site designs, allowing for a more rapid work process while avoiding needless misunderstandings and lengthy descriptions.
This eliminates the tedious process of taking a screenshot, typing your comments, sending it to your team, and then waiting for a reply. If you’re working with a virtual team, it also ensures your team members receive your requests in a timely manner, regardless of when everyone’s online.
The feature also keeps logs of all the discussions in one place, so you, your team members, and your clients can easily keep track of the progress of the conversations and work done on the website.
Duda's plans start at $19/month and come with a 14-day free trial.
Communication is crucial when it comes to effectively keeping your team aligned when completing a project or achieving a set goal. But if you're using several communication tools, it can be challenging to keep track of individual conversations.
This can breed miscommunication among your team members. If these frustrations aren’t resolved quickly, they can eventually lead to finger-pointing and even long-term resentment among your team members. Rather than working together, it’s going to tear your team apart. Worse, it can prevent you from meeting your set deadlines, frustrating your customers and clients.
Slack helps prevent this by keeping all the communications you have with your clients and team members in one platform. You can create different workspaces for each of the clients that you’re working with and include only the team members assigned to work for this client.
You can even take this one step further by creating channels within your Slack workspace for conversations on specific tasks, or among different departments. Slack also makes it easier to manage large-scale projects involving several departments within your agency or SMB.
Slack even seamlessly integrates with hundreds of different apps and platforms. So even if one of your team members leaves a message on one of the platforms you’re using, you’ll still get the message in Slack.
5. Google Drive
Google Drive is a cloud file storage app that allows you to conveniently save and share your documents. Additionally, you can specify how your files are shared with your team members and clients.
Another benefit that Google Drive gives you and your team is its array of apps to create anything from word processing documents to spreadsheets, survey forms, and even presentation slides.
Since your files are stored in the cloud, your team can easily access them. This exempts them from having to send needless back and forth emails or accidentally overwriting each other’s work since they can access the latest versions of all files easily.
What’s more, it allows you and your team to add in their comments and suggestions on the files you’ve shared with them.
Once you leave a comment, everyone with access to the file will receive an email letting them know about it. You can also choose to send the comments to a specific member of your team by adding a plus sign (+) in front of their email address.
Google Drive’s free version gives you up to 15GB of free storage. If you and your team need more, you can upgrade to one of the Google One paid plans, which start at $1.99 for 200GB.
Teamwork is a collective effort. Each one must be able to do his or her part for every venture and project you do to become successful.
Each of the tools shared here is designed to meet a specific need. But all share one thing in common. They all help make sure that everyone on your team is on the same page and working harmoniously with each other.
Are you using any of the tools listed here? If so, how has it helped you and your team? Share them in the comments below.