Let's pretend that I've waved my magic wand and you no longer work for the senior VP of blah-blah-blah, but for the 50, 500, 5,000, or 50,000 employees in your organization. They're your bosses now. Your sole mission is to use communication to make their jobs easier and help them succeed.

There are probably 87 things you would do differently (like eliminate those stupid organizational announcements), but let's focus on one in particular: You would make sure that, from now on, communication doesn't waste a moment of employees' time.

You know how time-pressed everyone is these days, scrambling to fit 12 hours of activity into an eight- or even a 10-hour day. So by simplifying and shortening communication, you will be doing employees a tremendous service.

I was reminded by the importance of time in a MediaPost blog I read the other day on a very different topic: blocking ads on external websites. As Ari Rosenberg wrote, "Industry experts I speak to say the number-one reason people download an ad blocker is simple: speed. Imagine boarding a plane where no one has carry-on luggage. That's how much faster the Web experience feels when the weight of a Web page is reduced by blocking ads and the coding attached to them."

What are the fastest ways to make employee communication more time-efficient? Here are 5:

1. Cut words.

Better than 500 is 250. Better still is 150. Fifty? Now you're making progress.

2. Chunk content.

And while you've got your scissors out, shape copy into scannable chunks, with bullets, numbered lists, sidebars, and callouts.

3. Reduce the need to read.

We process photos, illustrations, icons, and other visuals much faster than writing.

4. Trim meetings.

Are your employee town hall meetings 90 minutes? Reduce them to 60. If they're running an hour, try a 45-minute session.

5. Eliminate clutter.

Delete old intranet pages. Tear down outdated posters. Channel Marie Kondo and "discard anything that doesn't spark joy."

There, wasn't that easy? (And quick?)

 

Published on: Mar 18, 2016