Consider the need for speed when you communicate

14 January 2022

By Lisa Harrison

Eximia: “Alexa, why is communication important?”

Alexa: “Communication helps us to build effective relationships….”

And off she goes.

 

The evolution of technology

Long gone are the days where we’d spend hours rifling through encyclopaedias in a silent and dusty library searching for snippets of information.

Nowadays, if we need a question answered, all we have to do is ‘ask Alexa’ or hit ‘search’ in Google. Changes to technology over the years have revolutionised how we communicate, distribute and store knowledge. From the telegraph and telephone, to radio, television and the Internet, technology has had an immeasurable impact.

It’s easy for us to find information. In fact for many of us, it’s become a necessity to be able to access it quickly. And, let’s face it, we no longer remember facts the way we used to because we don’t have to. The date of the Battle of Hastings doesn’t need to be top of mind, if it’s top of the search engine results page. The Internet has removed the pressure to memorise: it finds the facts for us.

Technology is altering the way our brains absorb information. It’s diminishing our concentration and contemplation. The upside of these changes is that we can use tech to look for topics of interest and quickly understand topics that we aren’t familiar with.

These advancements are only going to continue. Society will share excessive amounts of content and information, and our brains will rewire and adapt to absorb what we need and ignore what we don’t.

 

Making our communications keep up

When we communicate with our colleagues, it’s our job to recognise these changes, in terms of both the technology and how humans interact with it. We need to make information easily accessible and trustworthy.

So, when communicating about share plans or rewards, have you considered how to tackle our need for speed, and make the information you’re sharing engaging?

Here’s our advice:

1. Make it easily accessible
Many organisations benefit from introducing a microsite. Employees can find all the information they need on a specific topic, all stored in one place. Employees want the information they need to know, when they need to know it, in a format they can engage with. A microsite empowers your people to be self-sufficient.

2. Make it easy to digest
Being constantly bombarded with information means we’ve become adept at skim reading. We skim data looking for the parts that interest us the most. Use engaging media such as video, animation, and infographics to overcome this. When you are using written content, structure it in an easily digestible format using headings, bullet points and different fonts so key points pop out.

3. Make it easy for them to trust
We’ve all heard the term ‘fake news’. How often have we been given incorrect information stemming from hearsay? Employees need to feel like the information they’re offered is trustworthy. Using a microsite can overcome false information by being an official single source of knowledge for any given subject.

4. Make it easy to find answers
Introduce technology into your workplace that has a powerful search function. If employees can access information quickly using search, they’re more likely to stay engaged with what they’re doing and continue to use the tech going forward. You can also create an FAQ guide that includes your most asked questions, and store it somewhere where it’s easily found.

Most importantly, keep your doors open. Despite our love of technology and easy access to knowledge, employees still appreciate face-to-face communication when they can’t find what they’re looking for.

5. Be flexible and agile
Keep your information fresh and up to date – carry out regular audits to see if you can simplify the language, add visuals to bring complex topics to life, use new communication channels, or segment and test changes.

 

We hope you found this insightful. If you’d like to adopt these tips in your own share plan or reward communication and would like some help, please get in touch to arrange an informal intro call.

Lisa Harrison

Associate Employee Communications Consultant

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