Nelson Mandela once said, “If you talk to a man in a language he understands, that goes to his head. If you talk to him in his language, that goes to his heart.” The effectiveness of the message increases exponentially when communications resonate with the intended recipient which is why we believe, communication is key.
In fact, companies described as highly effective communicators had 47 percent higher total returns to shareholders over the last five years compared to companies described as the least effective communicators in a study published by Towers Watson.
Strong communications require commitment and resources to be successful. There will be consequences for the organization without these elements in place,
So, how do organizations improve communications? Read on for a few perspectives to help alleviate some of the ambiguity when approaching effective communications.
Internal and external engagement
One piece to consider as it relates to communications is the echo chambers that can be created at higher levels of a business or organization. Leadership teams need to engage with employees to ensure they understand the why and how behind decision making. Taking extra steps in communicating decisions helps create buy-in and alignment for the whole team.
The same advice applies when looking at it from an external perspective. Talking to clients, suppliers and partners keeps people on the same page and often helps mitigate issues before they arise.
Regular and consistent communications
While communicating effectively may sound simplistic or overly easy, it requires commitment and dedication. Organizations overlook it at their peril! Keep in mind how the information may impact employees, clients or stakeholders, and tailor messages and tools accordingly for each stakeholder group.
It is also important during internal and external engagement to understand preferred methods of communication and identify the ideal frequency of communications. Understanding how stakeholders prefer to communicate and how often allows leaders to understand the best approach to create regular and consistent communications.
Remember, it takes time and special consideration.
Significant organizational changes
When communicating major changes ensure that employees feel engaged and supported through the process. Understand where there might be resistance or fear and personalize messages to address specific concerns.
Engaging in open and honest dialogue makes people feel heard and creates buy-in from employees. Poor or limited communications can lead to misinformation at best and false narratives at worst, both of which contribute to demoralization and distrust among employees.
Incite Partner, Dania Spillett, shares more insights on this specific topic in her article, Is your team along for the ride?
Communications can often be complex and there are many variables to be considered. Incite recommends implementing a strategy with specific priorities and timelines for organizations reviewing communications. The philosophy that slow and steady wins the race is something to strive for as effective communication should not be an off-the-desk task. Take the time to ask questions, engage and move forward with confidence.
Unsure of where to start? Incite has more than twenty years of experience creating communications plans and strategies for clients. Please reach out using the contacts below.
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Unsure of where to start your communications plan or large-scale initiative? Incite has more than twenty years of experience creating communications plans and strategies for clients. Please reach out to the author of this article or use the contact button below.