AB Thinks  →  18th May 2022

Cut through: comms with creativity, clarity and compassion

AB Thinks

It’s no secret that we’re all overloaded with information, through notifications on our phones, social media, the news and – for many of us – at work. On top of that, with workplaces forced to introduce a number of digital channels during the pandemic and also having a higher volume of content to distribute, we’ve had an unusually large number of messages to convey to our colleagues recently.

But are our messages getting across? With so much white noise within and beyond the workplace, it can be hard to catch and keep people’s attention. We’ve put together some tips on how to get through to your colleagues with creativity, clarity and compassion:

#1 Be creative
…with the channels you use. If your teams are having to be highly responsive to client emails and their inboxes are flooded, try people managers, screens, apps, and other channels instead. If your campaign marks a key shift for the company, why not try a podcast that gives employees a chance to engage with the message regularly and understand it better? Take inspiration from our IC podcast episode with Brian Landau.

#2 Be clear
You won’t be able to cut through if your message isn’t clear and easily digestible for teams with information overwhelm. Be clear about the message you’re delivering, the key takeaway for employees, and the action you want them to take. Stick to language that keeps your message clear in each of your interactions.

#3 Be focused
… about your goals and in your messaging. To set up a message that’s going to cut through and be effective in this climate, you need to be focused on what you want the outcome to be. Let that inform the message and its format. And while you might have a lot you need to get across, try to stick to one key message and outcome at a time. For advice on developing your comms with results in mind, listen to our conversation with business adviser Jim Schaffer.

#4 Be consistent
Business values have never been more key to employee engagement and satisfaction. They can no longer be abstract, airy ideas, but should be linked to and considered in your comms – you need employee buy-in as much as customer support, so your company’s values should inform every aspect of employees’ experience of the workplace and leadership. If your message isn’t in line with your company’s professed values, it’ll feel inauthentic and easily dismissible. To learn more about creating comms with purpose and value listen to this episode of the Internal Comms Podcast with Jane Mitchell.

#5 Be sensitive
… to the other pulls on your colleague’s attention, whether at work or externally. With the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic and other crises on the news, ever-changing work experiences, and shifting social dynamics, there’s a lot to process both in and outside work that could be draining your colleagues’ mental capacity. Whatever message you’re trying to get across, be compassionate with your expectations of employees’ responses. Give them some breathing room if you can.