Messages Matter. Talk Ain’t Cheap-It’s Priceless

Communication ROI Study 2007/08  by  the global consultancy  firm of Watson Wyatt found that “firms that communicate effectively are four times as likely to report high levels of employee engagement as firms that communicate less effectively.” Financial results:  Companies with the most effective communication program showed a 91 percent total return to shareholders (TRS) during a five year period compared with a 62 Percent TRS for companies on the other end of the scale.  The top-end companies also showed a 15.7 percent increase in market value. So, hard pressed to communicate?  There are plenty of tools and a solid communication plan uses all of them: executive-to-employee communication through CEO blog, electronic town halls and online employee forums.  Marriott CEO Bill Marriott sometimes adds video clips to his blog as a way of offering enhanced communication and humanity. Don’t have high-end video? No problem Companies can use inexpensive equipment like Flip video and create a private area in You Tube.  Let employees also craft their own messages—create ads that “sell” what they do to internal customers.   Create an online Q&A for messages, brainstorming, and sharing data.  Employees  should be encouraged to submit questions and the biggest risk-taking question should be answered—very candidly—from the outset. Remember that this is not a technology or nothing world. Never forget the value of face-to-face interaction.  Informal chat sessions, all-hands meetings, and weekly stand-up and speak-up gatherings can go far to keeping energy and engagement.


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