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Posted on 31 December, 2021 at 14:33

Once upon a time, a lovely Human Resource professional named Susan from the great land of California was the manager of an HR department. It was a time of transition for this particular department of four people; one person had just quit due to constant misunderstandings with the VP of Finance and administration, who was also dismissed a week after the employee quit. There were always disputes at work due to miscommunication and lack of collaboration between staff and management. To make matters worse for Susan, the part-time person who was part of the team was also taking medical leave. The department of four people had only Susan left responsible for 4 jobs at once.

During this period of fewer workers, a new VP of finance and administration was hired from the land of ‘Insanity and Delusion’. The new VP approached Susan and said the company needed to create job descriptions for every employee; such forms did not exist at that time.

“Okay,” Susan said. “What is the timeline?”

“I think we need to do this in the next five days,” said the VP.

Susan looked at the VP in shock and replied, “That’s not possible. I’m down two people and I don’t think we could even find a consultant who could do it in four days’ time.”

The VP replied, “I just figured you would just increase your working hours. I need those descriptions dear Susie”

Susan looked at the VP and said, “I quit.”

Susan served her three months and left.

And they all lived happily ever after . . . probably at other jobs.

The manner in which information is disseminated and shared in an organisation has a huge impact on the rate at which tasks are performed, decisions are made and on the workflow of personnel in the organisation, therefore we term communication as ‘the backbone of every organization. Effective communication ensures that members of staff in the organisation are in sync, collaborating and working towards achieving the same goal ultimately. However, organisations struggle with ensuring that members of staff are in sync and are working towards the same objectives and goals, not because they are not aware of what communication is and the benefits that come with it. It’s always the implementation aspect that proves to be a challenge.

Where does the challenge come from?

With how dynamic our workspaces have become, the flow of information in an organisation is rapid and continuous affecting the need for sound communication channels. Here’s a scenario of an ongoing project in Ngezi.

Landmine clearing project in Ngezi.

 A project manager responsible for a project in Ngezi with twenty program staff under him has to know the tasks of each staff member, what they are working on, approve leave days, plan and approve overtime, which project stages are complete etc. The program staff working on land clearing with excavators need to wait for the staff to do the manual handwork first. However, both teams have to wait on the staff assessing the land mine first! The consulting manager has to ensure that support staff at the office, have processed funds for the project being carried out at Ngezi, sourcing for the cheapest service providers to ensure expenditure is still within budget. He also has to ensure that the logistics department has delivered resources on sight and also manage that support staff is carrying out their duties and reporting to work on time for the project to go well. This almost looks chaotic and unmanageable looking at it. By now, I’m sure we both agree that collaboration and effective communication is necessary for the organisation to be in sync working towards the same goal.

Communication tools for managing performance

·         Weekly Planner

This outlines each staff member’s work plan for the week, the tasks they will work on in the week, and the duration of each task.  These can then be submitted to the project manager to give them a picture of what each staff member is working on. Not only do these communicate to the manager on work being done, but also enable the project manager to plan and give guidance on tasks.

·         Timesheets

These give an account of what each member of staff was working on during the course of the week. It records milestones accomplished and work that is still in progress. It also has a section where explanations can be made on delays encountered in work, challenges, and difficulties. Timesheets also help the managing team in planning better, alerting them of possible delays and challenges enabling them to be proactive and find ways around potential problems.

Collaboration tools for managing performance

There are now so many collaboration applications that can be used to enhance communication within an organisation. However, an understanding of these applications is necessary to select a collaboration app best suited for your organisation.

How they work

Collaboration apps help staff have an overview of activities in the various departments and or as an organisation. Collaboration platforms have one or many of the following functions:

·         Instant chat and messaging – enhances team/department communication

·         Log in and log out slots – ability to see who is present at work, who’s on tea or lunch break, who is working away or from the office, who is in a meeting, who is available for a chat etc.

·         Weekly planner schedules – ability to view weekly planners and book meetings

·         Application of leave days

·         Overtime sheets submissions

·         Project progress – edit task durations, work in progress, and complete tasks.


Implementation of collaboration and communication tools can enhance the timeous flow of information to allow for timely decision-making and have the organisation operate in sync.

Click the link below to sample some free collaboration apps you can use for your organisation.


 By Rutendo Chinzou

KFM Financial Management Trainee Consultant


NMap Technologies