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3 Tips for Effective Communication

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve seen communication go wrong. When the communicator spends countless hours crafting the perfect message to share an important message and . . . . it falls flat and/or doesn’t deliver as intended. 

So that this doesn’t happen to you, here are three tips I shared when speaking to a group of managers the other day. I encourage you to keep these in mind as you craft your communications, and as you help your managers do the same.

Tip #1 - Communicate the why

The starting point is to communicate and explain the “why.” For example, why is the change you’re communicating happening? Why are you launching a new program? Too often we either withhold the truth or don’t share the whole story, the entire ‘why’ when we communicate to our employees. By doing this, by not sharing the rationale, we risk them not fully understanding, buying into, and trusting the change.

“Your employees deserve to hear the truth. And if you don’t tell them it, trust me, they’ll create their own version of the truth . .. . which is often worse than the actual truth!”

In this blog I share two examples of how we did this when making changes to existing programs. By doing this our communication began at the beginning of the “book” and not in the middle.

Tip #2 - Communicate the what

Next comes the “what,” so the details behind your communication, the steps to understanding it. As you do this it’s important to consider two things - First, what your people know and what they don’t know, and second, what they need and don’t need. Getting the detail and balance right is key to effective communication. 

To help with this I encourage you to engage with your people to find out their knowledge and needs, and then test your communication once drafted to make sure the “what” is handled in the right way. It seems obvious, but just the other day a friend told me how her company launched a new benefit but failed to include an important “what,” which was what they needed to do to sign up for it. Don’t make basic mistakes, use others to help you with this step.

Tip #3 - Communicate the how

And finally, it’s important to communicate the “how,” or what I like to call the WIIFM (what’s in it for me), which talks about how the communication impacts your people personally. 

As I explain in another blog on how to get your communications noticed, if you’re going to interrupt your employee’s day with your communications, you need to make it worthwhile and relevant for them, you need to deliver the WIIFM. Remember that your audience is ‘cold’, so currently not engaged with your communications and the topic. Ask yourself, what can I do to ‘defrost’ them, creating content to motivate your employees to complete the ‘purchase’. 

I hope you’ve found these three tips helpful, and can use them going forward to help design and deliver effective communications.


 Please contact me if you'd like to discuss how you can create more engaging content, or how to drive employee engagement at your company.


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