Research tells us that leaders spend 80% of their time communicating, either orally or in writing, but more than 60% of that communication is confusing, misconstrued or incorrect. ~ Washington Business Journal
The effectiveness of leadership communication has a major impact on employee productivity and business performance. Ineffective employee communication can lead to poor employee morale, disengaged employees, increased turnover, increased absenteeism, dissatisfied customers resulting from poor customer service, higher product defect rates, lack of focus on business objectives, and stifled innovation.
To counteract and head off these negative impacts, employees must be reached, engaged, and motivated. Effective employee communication should concentrate on three key employee needs: knowledge, mastery, and emotion. Knowledge stems from awareness of your business realities: who your target market is, who your suppliers are, details about specific products or services, the history of the company, etc. Mastery involves practical skills required to do the job well such as fixing machinery, operating cash registers, filling out purchase orders, running an internal software program, etc. Emotion encompasses the interactions that lend employees a sense of belonging and self-worth such as being listened to, respected, trusted, valued, etc.
In addition, Daniel Pink’s A Whole New Mind suggests improving employee communication by tapping into the right region of the brain through multi-sensory means in order to make communication of your message and ideas more memorable. He lists six practices:
- Design – Move beyond function to engage the senses
- Story – Add narrative to your message
- Symphony – Include big picture thinking and context – not just the details
- Empathy – Go beyond logic to engage emotion and intuition
- Play – Bring humor and light-heartedness to your message
- Meaning – The purpose is the journey, give meaning to what you do – the “why”
When facts become so widely available and instantly accessible, each one becomes less valuable. That’s why effective employee communication places these facts in context and delivers them with emotional impact. Stories convey a complex idea in a more memorable and meaningful way than the lists of data we see so often in traditional power point presentations.
ContXt® supports your employee communication strategy and methods using products that are multi-sensory, multi-faceted, and allow for open exploration and dialogue. These products include visual captures, interactive workshops, and business simulations.