"Communication is the process of sending and receiving messages. However, communication is effective only when the message is understood and when it stimulates action or encourages the receiver to think in new ways." (Courtland L. Bovée, John V. Thill, and Barbara E. Schatzman, Business Communication Essentials. Pearson, 2004)
As we are buried in endless communication from every channel, we need to bypass information overload and help our audience capture and lock into their memory?
In the beginning, its simple…
Being the first employee for a startup, I designed and implemented the operational processes used with the systems to support the voice SaaS business. At Geckotech, I led the teams responsible for implementation, customer service, and the data center infrastructure. Since we were all located within one office, communicating change was simple - and it occurred frequently. A combination of email communication, weekly training sessions, and management of defined metrics was a great recipe for success.
Once business grow into more than one location, the recipe needs to adapt. In fact, using an application called RescueTime to understand productivity by application use, I noticed that my email usage went from 5 hours a week to 15 hours a week when managing teams across different locations!
When you grow, it becomes a challenge...
When M5 Networks acquired Geckotech, I transitioned to oversee business process and the service delivery teams which span across several locations. As a growing business implementing new technology and systems, it was a careful challenge to communicate change effectively and continue to maintain top NPS scores. Technology and systems will only have the expected impact when the people and change process are managed properly.
Emails, meetings, Powerpoint decks posted on Salesforce.com chatter, and knowledge base articles didn’t seem to be enough to effectively communicate the information required to both the impacted teams and the rest of the company. After all, everyone else is using the same communication channels. Rewind back to the comment about information overload... As a company, we adopted quarterly change sprints so make change consistent. Even with a corporate movement, there is room for creativity.
It’s time to disrupt the norm…
I can almost guarantee your message will be the only one in the restroom. Just like we need to take some time away from our smartphone and technology at times, we also need a ‘bio’ break!
I found the ‘sacred’ place a great way to capture everyone’s attention and generate some funny emails from those who were shocked by the placement. Here are some tips that I learned along the way through positive and constructive feedback which I used to iterate into the weekly posts.
Now, it is your turn!
Here are some tips on how to make your “Flush” most effective:
Keep it simple with key messages and bullets
Repeat message from other communication channels
Provide online knowledge base source to access details
Use as a source to compliment individuals
Execution is Key
Choose an ambassador at each site to post in all stalls (and remind them to be careful when entering the opposite sex restroom...)
Post it at the right place on the stall door AND standing height for men
Consistently provide new material and announce via email or meeting
Email a PDF version to remote workers separately (While worth a shot, I doubt they will post it at home)
What do you think? Give it a try. I would love to hear the feedback and results.
THE PUKKA PANDA
Curious about Information Overload? Check out this article from Forbes.