The Solution to Employee Communication

August 15, 2018
Let’s pause for a moment and think about how you share and consume information in your personal life. Today, news and content comes directly to you based on your interests or what someone or some algorithm thinks that you want to see. Now it this short video, we’ll look at how that’s different in your professional life – where you’re not getting the information that’s important to you. This is the difference between a destination model and a distribution model for getting information. So, what do I mean? The problem with employee communication today is that we’re telling our workers they have to seek out information important to them. It may be on an intranet. Or maybe they have to filter through emails, figuring out what’s important and what’s not – that is if they’re lucky enough have a corporate email address. But more than 50 percent of employees today don’t even have that. So those people are playing a game of telephone. Somebody told somebody who then told somebody who finally told somebody else something that we announced in a shift meeting. This is a destination model. It’s exhausting. It’s inefficient. It doesn’t work. For employees to be at their best, companies expect them to have the information they need to do their job. But it’s all hidden away in these destinations like an intranet! Now, the way we get information in our personal lives is so much better. But we just haven’t adapted at work. We have a super-computer in our pocket. Everyone does. It’s on our nightstands when we sleep. It’s a mobile device that’s constantly keeping us easily connected to things we care about personally. This is a distribution model. Information comes directly to us, on our terms. We don’t go anywhere. It comes to us. Yet when we’re at work, we have to work to stay connected. If we have to do work to get information about how to get work done, that’s a bit of a hurdle to actually getting work done! At Dynamic Signal, where I work, we just did a study. And this is my favorite finding was this: 80 percent of executives we surveyed were effusive in their praise for how well their companies are communicating with their employees. They were thrilled! But then 53 percent of them also said they personally missed critical information intended for them. To quote Alanis Morissette, isn’t it ironic. Seriously, if communication is not good for me as a senior executive, I assure you, then it’s terrible for employees. So, let’s think about that dichotomy. We’re saying our communication is really good and yet we’re not getting what we need. So, what are we going to do about this. Here’s the answer: The destination model is dead. The idea that you can siphon off and store content in a place where you expect people to go get it is not how we consume content in any other part of our life. I don’t even go to network TV anymore. I schedule it on my DVR and watch it when I feel like it. There is no “appointment TV.” It is all organized around me. Companies have to embrace this. Let your employees organize information the way they want. Provide them tools THAT consolidate, prioritize and then push information to them based on how relevant it is to them and their jobs. It needs to be delivered to your employees wherever they are and in the manner they prefer. And nine times out of 10, it’s going to be on their mobile device. That’s where we organize our personal lives. Your communicators are struggling. They’re working hard to connect with your employees on all different kinds of platforms. They know the problem. It’s not their fault. Traditional systems haven’t kept up with the people consume information. There are too many walled gardens. Those systems are based on the destination model. Instead, you need open systems based on a distribution model that allow you to make it very clear to employees what’s important. That’s just a smarter way to communicate with your workforce. That way your organization stays connected with your most valued asset – your people.
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