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3 steps to improve your communications and prove your value

Jim ShafferJim Shaffer·

I had the pleasure of keynoting Poppulo’s exceptionally information rich communication forum in Dallas recently.

It was packed with tips and wisdom that should help communication practitioners take their games to new heights regardless of their role or level of experience.

Much of the focus was on providing internal communication professionals proven ways to drive better business results that their leaders back home care about.

That can be done in part by creating an employee experience that customers want to come back to.

Brilliant Ink, a firm specializing in improving the employee experience used breakout discussion groups to address four steps to an engaging employee experience.

Each group addressed its own experiences related to one of four steps.

  • Step 1: Hunting and Hiring focuses on making “knock their socks off” first impressions at the workplace.
  • Step 2: Day One onboarding focuses on setting up new hires for success.
  • Step 3: Daily Grind takes the grind out of the employee experience to create a great team.
  • Step 4: Career Path helps star employees grow and thrive by presenting rewarding, challenging career paths.

A superior employee experience is apt to create a superior customer experience that keeps customers coming back.

I offered three tips to help forum participants improve results and value which in turn will them add more value their organizations. Here are the three steps.

  • Manage communication as an integrated system

Manage the entire communication system, not just the relatively weak formal channels.  Communication represents all the ways we send, receive and process information.

It includes what leaders say and do and what systems such as reward, recognition and measurement communicate.

  • Measure What Matters

Many traditional communication functions measure things that aren’t relevant to the business. Tweets, retweets, page views, readability and channel usage, to name a few.

Instead measure how well you’re managing communication to improve revenues, quality, service delivery, gross margin, operating income and pro and productivity. This is what your leadership wants from you.

  • Shift from a cost center mentality to a value creation mindset

Shifting to a value-adding function requires four steps that communication practitioners need to take.

  • Get your leaders on board. Explain to them what other communication professionals are doing and tell them that you want to add value, too. I’ve never met a business leader who when given the choice between having a communication professional who adds value or having one who drains value opt for the latter.
  • Build a business case for shifting your work to add more value.
  • Admit this is new to you and you want help from someone who has made the shift.
  • Many people have made the sift. If they can do it, you can, too.

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