One of the most important principles that I've found in traditional brick'n mortar business is that it's important to keep everyone in your business focused on the goals and objectives of the business. The best tool for doing this is to have an ongoing dialog about issues and problems. If folks aren't able to come together to talk, individuals will get their own agenda. Lunches are great. Small group meetings...anything to keep the conversation going and focused on the product.
As my e-commerce business grows, I'm bringing in talent from many different parts of the country; tech support in Houston, order fulfilment in Ohio, technical writers in Florida, etc. As the chief medical officer, I'm mobile. Although each of us have a single task, we're all still working for the same company. So how do I go about bringing us together without the ability to have the occasional lunch or meeting?
One example I've seen used to do this is Facebook. I work as a doctor and use an electronic medical record (EMR). The maker of my EMR used Facebook as an intranet when they have issues or down time. Pretty cool the way they've used Facebook.
Anyone familiar with other products (intranet) that are used to create a community for small businesses? When I say community, I'd like my employees to be able to share a conversation about the business. By doing so, my hope would be to give them a sense of inclusion and a better focus on company goals and objectives.
Has anyone tackled this problem in the past? Any out-of-the-box solutions that anyone is familiar with?