Biggest Road Blocks for Communication Folks
Klarinet Solutions specializes in applying digital workplace solutions that optimize system performance, user experience, and streamlined processes. To support an organization’s objectives, it is important to first understand the various issues and restrictions that HR, Communications, and Management face.
Klarinet Solutions recently hosted a breakfast panel with Strategy, Communication, and Technology experts including Julie Reynolds and Katie Knott to learn more about why employees need purpose, how to best leverage technology, and what it takes to create the company culture leaders want. Vlad Catrinescu, a Pluralsight Author, Microsoft Certified Trainer, and recognized international speaker, moderated the event and used his professional insights to ask intriguing questions and engage the audience . The advice of the panel is influenced by their years of experience in Communications, Management Consulting, Finance, and HR at renowned companies. Find out what these communication experts said:
Vlad: What are some of the biggest roadblocks for communication folks when trying to implement a communication strategy?
Katie Knott: Personally, One of the biggest leadership roadblocks is the “this is how we have always done it” mentality. “This has worked we haven’t had any issues; this is how we send emails and use the intranet; this is how we have done it, how else would we communicate?” So, a big challenge can be getting that open mind into knowing that just because this is how it’s always been done, it isn’t the best way to do it. There is no one right way to do it. So it is necessary to explore those new and different ways to reach your people on multiple levels.
It is a matter of reaching your people – internal, external, employees, clients, audience, and you can’t reach out to all of them by using the same tactic.
Julie Reynolds: Internal communication and employee perspective are important to prioritize. What leaders fail to grasp is that employees are a different audience. You can’t market to them and put posters; Then expect your employees to suddenly espouse the values, decisions, or behaviors that you are talking about or want them to have. When you have an employee that works in a department where their leadership is bad, and experience is bad; they are not going to buy into anything you are selling from a values perspective. One of the other challenges with this is that leaders don’t like to hear that truth – most of them, not all of them. But when you have breaks in your culture and you don’t want to talk about it because it’s a bummer… as a leader, you are creating a major roadblock.
Vlad: What are some of the observations you’ve made on how the 3 different generations in the workforce would like to be communicated to? What are some of the challenges you have with communicating with the whole workforce?
Julie Reynolds: It goes back to that “7 times, 7 ways.” If there is a segment of your workforce that wants to engage in a certain way, you have to find a way to make that work. Along with the ways that other people want to engage. So again, you know, I can’t really say that it all comes down to knowing your employees’ days but if you have the demographic information, ask yourself: “where are the young people?” if you will, “are they throughout the organization?”, “do they tend to work in one area?”, “Is there a way we can tailor our communication in a way that makes sense?” I also think that from being a natural cynic, we may be overblown as a society, to think “Millennials need this, Generation X needs that.” We are all here to do our best work and I hope to move in the same direction. So, if this tool does not work for me, it does not mean I am going to abandon all hope, it will just make me find another way.
Katie Knott: It’s meeting your audience where they are, where they are consuming information, and altering that message for the person in a way they can understand. I think across the board, not specific to one generation, everyone’s attention span is getting so much smaller. So, you want something bite-sized, something you can quickly read and consume, like short emails and bullet points. It’s not even a generational thing, it’s the whole workforce, we are busy and inundated with emails. So, understanding how to best tailor those messages in a quick and concise way is the goal.
Vlad: Do you think the mission (the “why?”) should come from the top-down, from the executives and be pushed down or should it be crowdsourced from the bottom by the employees?
Julie Reynolds: I think it’s both. If you don’t have alignment throughout your organization and a clear sense of why we are here, it doesn’t matter where it comes from because it won’t be effective. I am a firm believer that leadership starts at the top, but if the executives are not aligned around what we are doing and why we are here, then it is really hard to sustain that clarity throughout the organization if you never had it to begin with.
Katie Knott: The leaders need to “talk-the-talk” and “walk-the-walk.” If you are starting your company mission and vision all over your company website, but you are not seeing the leadership enacted in the decisions of the company, their messaging, and day to day practice, it is less likely that the company is going to achieve that kind of buy-in. It is seeing it emulated from the top and then understanding how the different functions play a role into building culture and a common “why”.
Here at Klarinet Solutions, our goal is to best understand the culture of companies we are partnered with in order to optimize internal corporate communications, improve workflow efficiency, and empower leaders with the tools they need to unite their people. We install leading, customized, digital workplace and modern office solutions that are simple to adopt, easy to use, and are cost-effective. To find out more about our services or if you need help with SharePoint customization and high-level branding, feel free to contact our solutions-delivery team or reach us by phone at (866) 211-8191.