It’s astounding all the things smartphone apps can do. Apps keep you in touch with friends and family, tell you the latest breaking news, provide blockbuster entertainment, let you drive without getting lost, and even help you chart the stars!
So, it’s no wonder apps can help you improve communications with and within your teams. Especially since your workers arrive at work with a smart phone already in their pockets!
Communication and business benefits to apps
Apps improve your team communications in several ways:
- Better line communications in the field
- Better phone conferencing
- Better document sharing
- Better group management
- Better calendar scheduling
With that improved team communication, your overall LP operation gains even more significant benefits:
- Do more in less time
- Run production more efficiently
- Prevent mistakes
- Boost results
- Train new hires faster
- Delegate more
Selecting the communication app that’s best for you
We first shared how smartphone apps like WhatsApp can help you communicate faster to and within your LP teams in a previous article called “Passionate Growers Wanted!” Now, in this article, we will go much deeper to help you choose, set up, and use a communication app for your operation.
Head Growers at LPs have shared with CANNA several other apps that have worked well for their teams. Recommended apps include:
- Microsoft Teams
- Facebook Messenger
- Google apps
Those are a lot of choices, so which app should you choose? Your choice depends on the app platform that best fits with your organization’s size and needs. Here are a few factors to consider – which matter most to you?
- How secure is the app?
- How accessible is the app?
- How reliable is the app?
- Can you share lots of photos and documents daily?
- How easy is it to search and find previously-posted images?
- Can your staff use it easily? (already known apps are often easier)
- Is it free or paid?
This is an important decision, so spend some time researching and evaluating the choices, and then choose wisely.
We use Microsoft Teams and Outlook, which aids well. But to cut down on communication we also use Smartsheets to fill out and send to an administrator to collaborate the information cutting down on some of the communication.Meurig Murray - Flower Supervisor at Zenabis Global Inc.
Setting up groups in your app
By setting up groups to filter messages within your app, you can ensure you don’t waste people’s time reading messages that don’t apply to them, and also ensure people are less likely to tune out messages that matter. You can also tag your documents and images with the appropriate groups so they are easier for the right people to find.
Of course, feel free to create other groups that better match up with your team structure and key process functions.
How to manage your app groups
With some smart planning and internal guidelines, you can get even more value from your app.
- Choose an admin for each group. That person becomes responsible for who is in their group, what is shared, and how it is shared.
- Set rules with staff on how you communicate. In some channels your messages can be more casual, but in others it is very formal, evenstructured. For example, it’s good to have a place for your team to blow off steam and share jokes – the “random” group at the end of the listabove is a good place for that. A few channels are very formal, whereyour messages must follow a precise code format, such as with scheduling or environmental control. But for most, be flexible, allowing chit chat, to mirror how people communicate at work in other ways.
- Post relevant process documents to each group. For example, you maypost documents outlining your production steps to harvesting your crop, oryour daily, weekly, and post-harvest sanitization procedures.
For our production staff we have Bell PTT (Push-to-Talk) devices that work similar to walkie-talkies with both wifi and cellular capabilities. Any way that can make communicating more effective is worth it in the end!Alexander Weiland Roy - Production Manager at ORGANIGRAM LTD
Better team communication? Yes, there’s an app for that!
There are many free or low-cost apps you can choose from that will make your facility run smoother – and make your life easier! Invest some time evaluating various apps, then setting up the app you choose. That investment in time will pay off in spades!
We use Microsoft Teams to communicate with each other. We encourage our team leads, section growers, IPM department and QA to download the APP on to their phone as well. On the app we have different teams with different responsibilities.
- Our Team Lead group is focused on the flow of work within the facility and in each leads section.
- Our Section Growers group allows growers to communicate with me about potential problems within the grow rooms and allows me to find them easier.
- Our IPM department communicates with us about biological applications scheduling in the rooms.
- Our QA Group allows us to share any concerns with the QA manager and associates directly.
We can share pictures, documents and paperwork we’ve completed to different departments with the APP. It’s a very useful tool in our facility.
-Bobby Bains - Head Growers at Delta 9 Bio Tech
Have Questions? Join our LinkedIn Group!
If you didn’t understand everything in this article and would like to ask questions about it or anything else related to growing cannabis, request to join our CANNAtalk Passionate Growers LinkedIn group by going here.
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More Great Cannabis Cultivation Insights Coming!
Our first Virtual CANNAtalk Experience, The Passionate Growers Hub, on May 27th and June 3rd, 2020, was a great success. Passionate growers of all levels shared their enthusiasm, questions, and expertise, with 70 growers from 40 Canadian towns and cities.
We will share on this blog many of the great ideas from this virtual conference. Keep coming back to our blog to read upcoming posts as we share the best ideas and insights from pioneering Canadian cannabis Lead Growers.