Employees sort through hundreds of messages daily –; from company updates and client emails to training materials and corporate projects, they’re inundated with communications. It can be difficult to deliver a meaningful message through all the mundane noise, so grabbing your audience’s attention means fighting with tough competition. But you can easily get attention from your audience if you take time to notice when and why they lose interest.
All stakeholders have their own interests at heart. It doesn”;t matter whether they”;re individual employees, investors, or consumers. They all want to know what”;s in it for them, and acknowledging this perspective is key if you want to grab their attention.
The right message should inform, inspire, and ignite. Make clear to everyone what they can expect and how they can benefit. By crafting captivating messages, you can navigate the mundane and complex, and discover a world where everyone is on the same page.
Develop Consistent, Meaningful Messages
Whether you”;re looking to engage with employees, shareholders, or customers, you need to keep your message consistent to build trust and grab your audience”;s attention. This doesn”;t mean you should send the same message to all three groups. It”;s about consistency of tone, voice, and brand presentation.
Your messaging should be an extension of your company identity. Create and maintain an overall aesthetic. Brands that maintain cross-platform consistency can see their revenue rise by 23%, and they find it easier to maintain alignment between individual and organizational values.
Consistency is just the first step. A message won”;t be received the way you want it to without specific meaning. Think about what you celebrate and take pride in. Does your company excel at personalized customer service? Would you say your business”;s creativity is what appeals to customers? Communicate your passion when you draft case studies or develop campaigns. You”;d be surprised how this step alone can rally your troops.
Recognizing the importance of communication in professional life is essential when creating your messages. Every email and event impact the corporate world in a significant way. That”;s why one of the biggest mistakes that brands make is delivering only the expected message.
Try attending monthly conference calls, investor days, and sales meetings to discover new ways to grab your audience”;s attention. Invite different stakeholders to deliver messages. Audiences will tire of even the most skilled communicators, so find ways to relay your messages in new and compelling ways.
Engage and Captivate With Internal Communications
Disengaged employees are a serious threat to future business. Only 21% of employees consider themselves to be highly engaged at work, and poor engagement scores can mean losses of up to $550 billion per year. Many businesses aren”;t giving their employees a sense of purpose.
Business as usual isn”;t good enough if you seek motivated, passionate employees. Without stimulation, excitement, or empathy, employees lose interest. A 2018 survey found that 60% of workers would take a pay cut to work for a company that showed empathy, and nine out of 10 employees would sacrifice some of their income for a sense of purpose at work.
Consistent and authentic messaging can be used to anchor your employees and give them a collective mission. Employees are the core of any organization and your strongest brand ambassadors, so celebrate their successes and encourage them to feel proud of their work. A business with a higher employee engagement score can see net incomes twice as high as those with lower scores.
Additionally, an engaged and dedicated workforce can more easily navigate change. Employees facing a major organizational restructure might be wondering what their day-to-day lives will look like during and after the change. New processes and complex plans can make employees anxious, but the right message can demystify the experience and keep people focused and unified.
When McDonald”;s introduced new interactive technology into its restaurants, it didn”;t just offer workshops and seminars to help owners come to grips with the change. It staged a 20-minute play in its Transforming Customer Experience Theatre.
The script was carefully crafted so speakers could pause the scene and reinforce pivotal messaging. This engaging format helped owners and operators envision how the changes would materialize in their restaurants. Rooted in real-life interactions, the production stayed true to McDonald”;s values and illustrated the opportunities ahead. By focusing on the content and delivery of the message, McDonald”;s encouraged employee engagement and introduced change in an easily understandable way.
How to Craft Your Message
Approaching internal communications should be the same as approaching external communications. Both use similar practices for engaging and inspiring all audiences. Here are five main tactics that you can employ when crafting your message:
1. Tell a story.
Storytelling is ubiquitous for one simple reason: It works. Storytelling activates the theory-of-mind network in people”;s brains. When you associate a message with a story, it helps your audience retain information and relate to what they”;re hearing. Think about the shape of your story and aim to master the art and science of storytelling.
2. Prepare and prepare again.
When resources and time decrease, fight the plug-and-play model. Every message deserves strategic thought and consideration, and it needs to be tailored to your audience. Keep it consistent to build trust and remember that authenticity is non-negotiable. Review and edit written messages and rehearse spoken ones. Get second opinions and use message mapping to ensure reinforcement without repetition.
3. Turn the spotlight on your audience.
Whether you”;re in a corporate setting or a consumer environment, audiences relate to what they know. They see themselves in one another, so showcase their peers and cite case studies. Include interactive exercises that break up events and get your audience members talking among themselves. For instance, if you”;re discussing customer service, encourage people to talk to a neighbor about their best experiences.
4. Break down information into digestible nuggets.
No matter how much you”;d like to push out a large, complex message in one go, it won”;t work. Break down your message into smaller ones that can be delivered over time. Try to make your audience”;s experience more palatable. Over time, you”;ll see increasing receptiveness and understand why effective communication and professionalism is important in the workplace.
5. Keep your audience rooted.
No matter the message, it needs to stay true to who and what you and your business are. Always relate back to your company values. Use mantras and slogans to elevate your message by connecting it with your mission statement. You don”;t want your audience to lose track of why the message is important, so keep it rooted in your company culture.
Every business leader understands the importance of communication in professional life, but they don”;t all know how to grab an audience”;s attention. Prepare every communication twice over, turn it into a story, and make sure you tailor it to your audience”;s needs. Show your audience how you can benefit them if they listen.
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