Saturday, 28 March 2015

Three Years Of Blogging...In Memorable Quotes (PART 1)







The digital road consistently travelled...




This blog, known for producing insightful, original content, (most of which you are unlikely to see elsewhere without authorisation); for giving practical advice; and generating relevant pieces, clocked another year this month.



The Rethinking Business Communications Blog is three years old!



Being committed to its continued growth, I will strive to build it to become a useful resource in the business communications niche. It will be a journey but I hope that together, we will find it rewarding. Your continued readership, advice, suggestions and engagement from across the globe are deeply appreciated.




Let’s work together to make this blog even better as time goes on.





So who’s with me?




(Hint: The only answer here is - “Everyone!”)  :-).
 



Good.




As is the tradition, below are the memorable quotes selected from articles posted throughout the blog’s third year. This is the perfect time to catch up on articles you never got around to reading.



 
Memorable Quotes



1) Show me by both your words and actions that you really care about the things that matter to my career and I would return the favour.


Post: 


I Plan To Stay In Your Company A Long Time IF...



Date:  

April  2014




URL:




Description:


The Employee returns and  finally  reveals reasons why he would actually STAY in  an organisation. Spoiler alert: It is not always about the money.  




2) "Good communication skills...are global pre-requisites for successful careers”.


Post:

Communicating For Success: 10 Sure-Fire Tips To Master




Date:  

May  2014



URL:



Description:


Communication skills are vital for professional development. Master the 10 tips  given that are guaranteed to take your career to the next level.  




3) “It doesn't matter if you are an introvert or an extrovert. At some point in your career, you will be required to work in teams”.
 

Post:



Teamwork For Dummies – Rules Of Engagement


Date:

June  2014



URL:












Description:

Great teamwork doesn't just 'happen'. Learn how to build good teams with simple tips learnt from an unlikely source - the revised classic story of The Turtle & The Rabbit. Watch the videos and be inspired. 

 



4) “It is important to note that political and corporate leaders lead people and these people have aspirations, expectations and obligations which they expect their leaders to prioritise”.


Post:

From Politics To Corporateville – Top 5 Mistakes Leaders Make


Date:

July  20
13











URL:








Description:


Avoid the five listed mistakes of political and corporate leadership to become a great leader. Included in the article are case studies of the controversial Malaysian Airways MH17 tragedy and the ongoing #BringBackOurGirls campaign. This carefully-researched post, published soon after the tragedy, is one of the author’s best pieces of the year. It is highly recommended for both aspiring and seasoned leaders, so share liberally in your networks.







5) “How this theme is handled in your companies might signal whether or not your employers deserve your expertise, time and more importantly, your continued commitment and tenure”.


Post:

The Dying Art Of Managing The Psychological Contracts Of Employees



Date:


August  2014



URL:



Description:


Do you know what a psychological contract is? Well every professional in gainful employment has one. Knowing how to manage it effectively makes the difference between favourable results and dismal outcomes at the workplace. 


At 2,600+ words, this concise article draws upon findings from researchers in the field of organisational behavioural science and would interest Management in particular. By providing a practical scenario to consider, the author also makes this theme relevant to employees. 

 



Conclusion










And that concludes this segment.

 

I hope that I have ‘enticed’ you enough to read those articles. Remember to share the posts and to spread the word far and wide about this blog. Doing so would really, REALLY make me happy and would encourage me to keep on writing...



Don’t stay away too long as the second segment will be posted in a few days.



Cheers!



Be kind. Please remember to:



1) Share this article in your social networks by clicking on the icons below. 


2) Sign up for blog updates and be notified via email immediately a new post is published. You could do this by filling the box at the right sidebar on the homepage.  




Need help in writing? 


Hire me for a writing assignment, some consulting work and/or coaching sessions in formal writing and communications. There are 3 ways to do this:  


A) Fill in the “Hire Me” contact form at the right sidebar of this blog on the homepage. I would respond promptly.        


B) Send a direct email to: Lucilleossai@gmail.com 

 

C) Call for advice and a free consultation:

Nigeria:             0704 631 0592
International:   +234 704 631 0592  




----------------------------

N.B: All images courtesy of Stuart Miles; via freedigitalphotos.net.



Saturday, 28 February 2015

Dear Management: Your Communications Suck!









The Employee speaks:

 
I neither have the time nor the etiquette to break this to you delicately, so here it goes:

 

Your communications suck!



Everything about them is dismal - the email overload; the intrusive memos; the irrelevant surveys; the rambling speeches; the uninspiring website/social media content; the numerous, inconsequential meetings; etc. - they all drain my time, disrupt my work and negate my perception of your effectiveness.



And I am not alone with this opinion. Other colleagues have realised that someone has to spell it out for you so that you would 'get' it.




What you need to 'get' is that your communications do not add any value to your operations or our work; neither do they address our wellbeing in your company. As a result, we have become disengaged and 'tuned off' in our duties. We are unhappy in our roles, unfulfilled in our functions and some of us have secretly begun to apply to your competitors for more meaningful jobs.




Having worked for you for a couple of years, I am surprised at your continued cluelessness. You are unaware that you aren’t rated highly and that your staff doesn’t feel ‘emotionally attached’ to the company.




Something needs to be done.




To keep us productive in our jobs, you will need to tackle these issues:





1) Your content 



There are many things that you, the Management, cannot control - the weather, a  slow economy, regulatory policies, etc. -  but the content you produce is not one of those things. 



This means that before you embark on a grand culture overhaul, an ambitious re- branding initiative or any other project, you’ll first need to identify the goals you want to achieve with your communications, then carefully select your content. 



Thereafter, ask yourselves one crucial question:



“What type of information would our employees care about?”



Note that unless the content adds value to my work, or addresses specific issues, or clarifies some ambiguity about your policies or strategies, I wouldn't care about it.




And neither would the others.



It wouldn't matter what bells and whistles you use or how often you harp on about your plans.



If the content isn’t useful, easily understood and delivered in a timely manner, then don't bother.




Really don't.



I am already sufficiently stressed in my role juggling multiple assignments and I don't appreciate your cronies, (aka executives), interrupting my workflow with meaningless babble or pretentious pieces.






Also, why don’t you use simple, clear language in all your communications? Eliminate your annoying management-speak which makes your executives the brunt of all our jokes. You can be sure that we won't take them seriously.
   




2) Sharing your content 



You probably read somewhere that the almighty email is the most desired method of communication. 



But please stop emailing us multiple times a week!  



The information overload is ridiculous!




While there may be  valuable tools to assess the effectiveness of your communications, simple actions also make a difference.



For example, providing the contact details of the designated executives allows us to quickly get clarifications.




Placing bullet points on notice boards, using the intranet, and encouraging information transfer via cloud-based systems, (Google Drive, Dropbox, etc.), are also useful ways of getting our attention without being a nuisance.



Free or low-cost internal social networks such as Thinbox and Yammer add a fun element to collaboration, so include them in your communication arsenal.








When your initiatives are significant and scheduled to run for a considerable period, you should become creative with the format of your content. Use images, videos, audio, etc.




Pique our interest and coax our participation by once again making all your  information relevant. It will be a bonus if you could highlight how our desired contributions will lead to the company's successes. We all want to be part of something meaningful.




Do these things and even a sceptic like me will be won over because I will clearly see the benefits of supporting your plans.


 

3) Your spokespeople 


You have often chosen the wrong people to communicate to your employees and to handle your initiatives.




Previous spokespeople although knowledgeable about their duties, weren't likeable. In fact, they were downright condescending. Not surprisingly, they lacked leadership skills and failed to inspire.



Being likeable is important because I am more inclined to trust an executive I like than one who appears aloof or arrogant.







Of course trust is gradually built over time by observing whether Mr. A's speeches consistently match his actions.




I will concede however that charisma and likeability are not enough.




It is also imperative that the spokesperson has regular training in media relations, as well as crisis communications drills.




Inside the organisation, the (likeable) spokesperson should be approachable, articulate, calm, and a reliable source of information. No cryptic messages or vague explanations please.




For external contacts, the spokesperson must be poised, credible and skilled in giving factual, timely feedback.




If you can't find a worthy candidate in-house dear Management, then please recruit from external sources.



But be assured that I would neither waste my time nor my energies on your executives whose weak interpersonal attributes, lacklustre communication skills and incompetence actually impede commitment to your organisation.  







Conclusion



So Management, despite my gloomy tone, I actually want to see you connect more with your staff. I do understand your vision and I 'get' your passion.





Nonetheless, should you want us to work together to achieve goals we both understand and appreciate, you’ll need to communicate more effectively by:



1) Developing content which adds value to your employees' work and addresses stated concerns. Content should also inspire;


2) Using creative methods to distribute content in simple, clear language, whilst remaining relevant;


3) Selecting competent, likeable professionals with managerial potential to handle communications in the organisation. Provide regular media and crisis management training for them as well.





Do these things and you needn't worry about dwindling productivity or a reduced commitment to key projects or talented staff leaving in droves. 








But change you must!




Kindly post your comments below, anonymously if you prefer.



Don't rush off just yet. Please remember to:

 
1) Share this article in your social media networks by clicking on the icons on the left side or below.


2) Sign up for updates in the blog's right sidebar so that you are immediately notified via email when a new blog post is published. Never miss an article again!




Recommended reading









Need help in writing?
 
Hire me for a writing assignment, some consulting work and/or coaching sessions in formal writing and communications.
  

Contact me by: 


A) Sending a direct email to: Lucilleossai@gmail.com 


B) Calling for advice and a  free  consultation:

Nigeria:               0704 631 0592 
International:     +234 704 631 0592  



 ------------------------------------------



N.B –  First and second images courtesy of Stuart Miles; via freedigitalphotos.net. Third image courtesy of Cuteimage; via freedigitaphotos.net. Fourth image courtesy of Ddpavumba; via freedigitalphotos.net. Last image courtesy of Fotographic1980; via freedigitalphotos.net.