Bruce Daisley, European Vice President of Twitter, author of business bestseller The Joy of Work and host of hit podcast Eat Sleep Work Repeat, chatted to AB managing director Katie Macaulay for episode eight of The Internal Comms Podcast.
Here are our top five take aways from a conversation that ranged from advanced theories on what makes an effective work environment to four-year-olds impaling marshmallows with dried spaghetti.
#1 The best workplace cultures are created organically, not imposed from the top down
“Based on the evidence I’ve seen, culture isn’t mandated by bosses. It’s not laid out in an email or PowerPoint slides, it’s more ethereal than that. It’s hard to put your finger on what causes it, but I believe culture can be created by the participants in it as much as by the leaders of it.”
#2 Enforcing downtime by blocking email access outside work hours can be counterproductive
“Any time an organisation is giving mandatory instructions to people, you’re going down the route of an autocracy, removing any sense that this is a participant organisation people want to be part of. There’s a consensual approach and that’s what good organisations do. Don’t mandate me to do something, persuade me why I should or lose some of your goodwill. Most people want to do a good job.”
#3 We need to bring humanity back to the way we communicate at work and online
“The thing we’ve learned in the internet era is the empathy gap that exists with technology. This means that when we’re communicating through a screen, we often dehumanise the person at the other end. That is as true for office communication as it is for people hurling abuse at each other on social media.”
#4 Better planning is needed if companies want to make a success of remote working
“When we feel a connection with people around us, there’s something superhuman about it: it energises us, it makes us do a more complete job. We forget that science is at our peril. When we believe that everyone can work from home, that everyone can work remotely, we lose something. But if you know that, then you can work around it.”
#5 Effective internal comms needs an understanding of differences across the workforce, rather than a one-size-fits-all approach
“This is the fundamental challenge of internal comms. We want everyone to understand the same message in exactly the same way, but every team is different, so believing that one message will achieve a universal understanding of what’s going on is often difficult. So you need to devolve little bits of communication down to a team level.”
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