Trying to get a message across to every employee in an organization is a lot like trying to control kids in a school bus: some will listen; some will hear but misunderstand the message; and some will ignore the message altogether and later complain, “But nobody told me.”
Communicating to hundreds, sometimes thousands, of employees within an organization is no small feat. This challenge is further complicated in organizations with a global presence, where corporate headquarters is responsible for delivering the same message to satellite offices in geographically dispersed locations. But it’s not enough to just create the message.
Effective corporate communication involves not only the message itself, but also the medium that carries and delivers it. It’s these two components of a communication that dictate whether employees will receive and understand it. But don’t fool yourself in thinking that there’s some long process of deliberation when they receive one of these messages. Most corporate communications will grab the attention of an employee for no more than a few seconds — if at all. It’s within that very narrow window of opportunity that they will decide whether to read something or toss it aside.
Employees are processing more information than ever before — information dealing with their projects, their clients, and their industry as a whole. With all this information competing for employees’ attention, does a single corporate communication stand a chance of making it through?
Organizations have struggled to find the best way to get company communications to their employees for years. These communications can range from notices of service interruptions to announcements of corporate events. But is anyone really listening? Communication is a two-way street; it requires a sender and a receiver. If no one is listening, you’re just a crazy person talking to yourself.
Anyone involved with corporate communications needs to be aware of their receivers’ habits and idiosyncrasies before deciding on message and medium. It wouldn’t make sense to use technology-based communications with an audience who’s not tech-savvy without first providing them with adequate training; or to post an important announcement on a bulletin board when most users rely solely on their intranet for news. An understanding of the audience will help determine the best medium to use in order to get your message across.