Technology Shapes Internal Communications
Advances in TECHNOLOGY MATTER. The traditional office is not the same anymore. Typing pools and bulletin boards no longer exist. Now, the best organizations shape themselves around the needs of their people. When organizations are willing to care for the culture and the way people want to work. They not only deliver a premium work experience for the individuals, but they also promote, attract, and retain the best talent.
Klarinet Solutions recently hosted a breakfast panel with Strategy, Communication, and Technology experts Julie Reynolds, Katie Knott, Michelle Willard, and Rosemary Singh to learn more about how technology shapes their role and revolutionizes organizations. Vlad Catrinescu, a Pluralsight author, Microsoft Certified Trainer, and recognized international speaker, moderated the event and used his professional insights to ask a set of interesting questions and engage the audience to express their thoughts. The phenomenal advice of the panel covers their individual experience, observations at previous companies, interactions with CEOs, and years of experience in Communications, Finance, and HR roles. These are some of the questioned asked:
Vlad: What role do you think technology plays today in internal communication, and what role do you think it should play in the future?
Michelle Willard: We got phones in our pockets. We can address our first line workers now, not just with email but with Teams and collaboration sites that let us see how they are doing in their projects and how they collaborate. Intranets are a great resource, but there are multiple ways to get that content and get insights on how they are feeling and what they are doing so that leaders and managers can get that feedback and act on it. Another big thing is clarity, having a clear and consistent communication channel. By using technology, you can access multiple touchpoints and send the same message to all of your organization.
Julie Reynolds: You bring the tool into play and have multiple touchpoints with that same consistent message. One of the things that I’ve said in my career that resonates with me is: people need to hear a message,
7 times, 7 different ways.
So, when you people are looking at your email, your intranet, your videos, or sitting at your meeting, you start to build that robust communication landscape where people are hearing the messages multiple times. Then they begin to internalize it and provide meaning around the message for themselves.
Rosemary Singh: One of the things I learned the hard way because I coach CEOs and different CEOs operate differently, is having to learn the different styles of learning of these individuals. For example, there are visual learners: show me in the picture. There are auditory learners: let me hear what you have to say. And there are kinesthetic learners: let me touch, feel, and experience it. If you are not addressing all those perspectives, you lose some of your audience (employees, customers, partners, etc.). Learning diversity becomes critical to address for your audience because you’re making sure that you are using the words and tools that best support those type of learners. We can work with technology, rather than have technology “work” us.
Vlad: One last question, if you had a magic wand that would be any tool that would help you in your internal communication role, what would that tool be?
Rosemary Singh: My magic wand would build intimacy and stories. As human beings, we are story tellers. So as human beings we must be telling our stories over and over again. If we are telling the right corporate story, then the new people coming in, they get that, and they are moved by that. But if we don’t tell the right corporate story they are going to make up their own story and as a CEO you are just not going to like it. That’s how culture is. So I say figure out what your culture is and use it because it is either going to use you or you are going to use it. Culture is in every organization whether it is 2 people or 2 thousand people and it is only how well you are managing your culture as to whether as a leader it is working for you. Culture is either in support of the vision or it will stop the vision.
Julie Reynolds: If there was a magic wand, I would use a technology that brings engagement across all levels of the organization where people could start to really personalize each other, humanize each, and not just a bunch of suits or in our cases dockers that sit at the top and make decisions but are actually people doing the best they can. I think if there was a way to bring that humanity and vulnerability to the organization through technology that would be fantastic.
Katie Knott: My magic wand would be a behavior change; we can work towards increasing those touchpoints and making the messaging more personal, so people are taking it in, understanding it, hearing it, seeing that vision, and living that culture.
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