4 min read
Communicating to our employees is never easy, and it gets even more difficult as we face a variety of challenges which are outside of our control. These challenges have grown over the years, and we all need to find ways to address and overcome them so we can effectively communicate our messages.
Here are three challenges I’ve faced over the years, and some tips on how to overcome them:
More employees are migrating or being hired across country borders, creating more global workforces. As written in the EIU report titled Engaging and Integrating a Global Workforce, “Country borders are metamorphosing from barriers to bridges. Goods, services and labour talent are now flowing more freely across the globe than ever before.”
So what does this mean for HR and specifically to communications? It creates the challenge of handling the complexities of communicating to a workforce made up of different languages, cultures, values and even expectations.
We’ve all read the reports saying that soon we’ll have five generations working together in the workplace. Many say not to dwell on the differences, which I completely agree with, except when it comes to communications! The reason for this is that often communication preferences and expectations are based on what you’ve experienced, which differs greatly from generation to generation.
So far I’ve talked about the differences between our workforce, but this challenge is one which we all face, and that is information overload. Daniel Levitin, McGill University psychology professor and author of ‘The Organized Mind: Thinking Straight in the Age of Information Overload’ explained this concept well. He said that “In 1976, there were 9,000 products in the average grocery store, and now it’s ballooned to 40,000 products. And yet most of us can get almost all our shopping done in just 150 items, so you’re having to ignore tens of thousands of times every time you go shopping.” That’s exactly what we need to do with information being communicated to us each day, hour and minute.
For this challenge I’m not going to give you any tips just now, as we’re going to address them in detail throughout this communications ‘celebration’. These include tips topics such as how to make your communications stand out, how to add magic, and how to follow the guiding principles.
To end let me share an inspirational quote on overcoming obstacles by Ray A. Davis, a famous American writer and speaker. I’ve done this so we all can enter into ‘battle’ with these communication challenges with the mindset that we can and will overcome them.
“A challenge only becomes an obstacle when you bow to it”
Debra is our Group Reward Director at Reward Gateway. She's our Rewards guru, having over 20 years experience as a rewards leader, speaker, teacher and an author of a book on employee communications.