I’ve been away from my blog, busy with a variety of end-of-year activities. You know how it goes. This is the time of year when there are annual look-back’s, holiday messages and events, and a host of communication planning activities to gear up for January–which got me thinking about new year’s resolutions.
What if corporate communicators resolved to foster a culture of open, constructive communication in 2017?
It’s a big resolution. Because it would mean that corporate communicators take ownership and commit to be stewards of their organizational cultures.
In some organizations, that’s a big shift from standing on the sidelines as support staff to standing shoulder to shoulder with leaders and taking on accountability to address business challenges.
Let’s just suppose a corporate communicator would make such a resolution. What kinds of things would that communicator do?
The communicator would share responsibility for communication practices, instead of focusing only on tick-the-box activities. He would deliver communication campaigns that are formulated on objectives, and actual research and planning, instead of reinforcing the ol’ ho-hum routine with this-is-the-way-we’ve-always-done-it-around-here thinking. She would also be committed to measuring and taking action on the results, instead of fearing data and cynically dismissing feedback.
The outcomes of such a resolution could be game changing: A work environment based on openness, honesty and actual facts, instead of the say-do disconnect, gas lighting, half truths and post-truths; and relations between managers and employees that embrace two-way conversations, instead of two-way resentment.
And we know it’s the smart thing to do, because many different organizations–such as ADP Research, CEB Corporate Leadership Council, Deloitte, Gallup, Willis Towers Watson (the list goes on) have conducted studies, both large and small, and delivered pretty consistent results: Quality communication practices are a competitive advantage, which yield engaged employees who deliver bigger margins, higher EPS, safer operations, lower absenteeism and turnover… You get the picture.
So what will your resolution be? Let’s start a discussion, and help each other get closer to achieving a culture of open, constructive communication in 2017.