In the last post, we talked about asking ‘why’ what you’re communicating is important, and how whatever it is you’re communicating will help your colleagues contribute to your company’s phenomenal growth and success. Now we’re going to learn an amazingly simple trick for making your communications less spammy and annoying, and more interesting to your colleagues.
Remember: Know, Feel, Do
Every time you are communicating something, ask yourself what you want the intended recipient to Know, Feel and Do as a result of your message.
Here’s an easy example: it’s time to let people know about the upcoming company barbeque.
Obviously, as we’ve learned, you’re asking yourself why it’s important for people to know about the upcoming BBQ and that they should attend. The answer is that there are a lot of new people who’ve joined the company recently, and there hasn’t really been a good opportunity for them to get to know their colleagues. If people know each other, they can work together more effectively, and therefore really hit the ground running in their new roles.
Great. Good reason.
So, you’re going to send an email to everyone to tell them about the event. Thinking just about the veteran employees for a moment, ask yourself, what do you want them to:
Know: We are having a BBQ on July 23rd at the park to welcome our newer colleagues, and you should come.
Feel: A BBQ, cool! That sounds like fun, and it will be a great opportunity to get to know some of the new people who work here.
Do: Excitedly attend the BBQ and spend time getting to know their new colleagues, share their experience, and build relationships that will help those new people hit the ground running.
Once you know what you want people to Know, Feel and Do, you will craft your message differently than if you hadn’t asked Why, and you hadn’t thought about what the desired outcome of the message was for you and your company. Make sense?
Who cares what people Feel?
At the time of this article’s publication, let’s assume that most of your colleagues are humans, and not robots. Taking a human employee’s emotional world into account when you communicate is helpful because you are likely to get a better result for Do.
Some companies haven’t quite figured this out yet, but in the 21st century, the smart, talented colleagues you’re trying to communicate with probably don’t respond super well to a ‘Command and Control’ approach, and don’t really like being ordered around for no good reason. Accounting for, and appealing to, their feelings is going to be a far more effective strategy.
It also goes back to ‘Why.’ You want them to go to the BBQ to spend time getting to know their colleagues. If they show up at the park ‘feeling’ excited to be there, you’re going to get a better result on your ‘Why’ (know each other, collaborate better, be more productive quickly, make us more money) than if you tried something like ‘Thou shalt go to the park, eat hot dogs, and talk to your colleagues for a specified duration on Saturday.’
But wait, there’s more...
Know, Feel, Do also works on boring stuff too, which is handy. For example, IT changes:
Know: There’s going to be a system outage on Thursday while we upgrade some important applications
Feel: That’s cool that they’re upgrading those applications, I’m glad we’re getting that done this week.
Do: Make a plan to arrange work around announced system outage times to stay busy and productive, even when I can’t be working in those applications.
See? It almost makes it sound exciting! Almost...
Want to catch up on previous posts in this series? Check out why employee communications matters to your business, and why it's important to ask Why you're communicating at all.
Still need help communicating with your employees? Relax, we're here to help.
On April 24, join us for a LIVE Q&A Call and get all your employee communications questions answered.
Victoria Dew is the Founder and CEO of Dewpoint Communications.