Here's How to Use Creative Ideas for Workplace Communication
"It is said that every day we are faced with over 3 000 attempts to get our attention."
To get your message across – it has to stand out.
Email isn’t going to do it. You have to think of more clever ideas than that.
If one thinks about ideas, they are totally and utterly spontaneous. Jumping out of the blue as your brain perceives a thought, like a seed, fragile and small. But with the right care that seed grows. But doubt in oneself, even the tiniest degree can kill the seed’s potential to grow and multiply.
How to find an idea?
The best ideas are the simple ones that are everywhere around us.
Something triggers a thought. You could be paging through a magazine and see a clever ad. Or watching a movie and see a scene that could help you illustrate a workplace issue.
You could even be walking down the street and get an idea from people interacting. That's the birth of an idea.
Take it a bit further, use it to make an impact – to change perceptions and behaviour or to introduce a new workplace concept.
Communicating differently entails
- Thinking laterally
- Looking at things differently
- Using your imagination
- Being willing to be laughed at
- Taking a fresh perspective on the topic
Use these ideas no matter what you are communicating on: employee engagement, employee recognition, employee engagement.
The biggest question I am asked when it comes to workplace communication methods and techniques is this.
What can I do to make my message break through the clutter and be heard?
The trick is to be creative. Look at things differently, out of the box. Use campaigns with three or six elements to communicate your message to your staff. Devise campaigns such as “The Achievers Road to Excellence campaign” to improve the level of work being produced, “100% Accuracy Campaign” to reduce errors or, “Backlog Wipeout Challenge” to reduce backlogs or a “Go the Extra Mile Campaign” to increase production.
Implement communication vehicles for communicating such as:
Certificates to show participation or special achievements.
News briefs for important announcements.
Feedback boxes with notepaper and pen to encourage feedback or comments on issues.
Hotline where employees can leave anonymous voice recordings with a question, concern, give feedback on problem areas, or areas that are working well, make suggestions as well as let you know what they would like more information on.
Votelines - questions could be asked in the company newsletter to determine staff opinions on certain issues. Staff will be able to vote yes to yes@(company name).com or send no to no@(company name).com or phone two different numbers, one for yes and one for no. They will also be able to leave an answer in the feedback box.
Wall of fame on the intranet to feature people who have made a difference. This can be placed on the intranet or in a prominent place such as the canteen. It will include comments and names from staff, quotable quotes. Information on who has achieved what, plus interesting information and ideas.
Screensaver to promote and reinforce messages.
Email with link to the intranet.
SMS communication to select staff. A competition can be run to get sms details with results announced by sms.
Canteen group coffee sessions to discuss important issues such as a new policy, changes to procedures etc.
Hold challenges where staff members are challenged to achieve a target. The manager or director would then do something eg serve staff at a meal time in the canteen. This will provide an interesting article for the newsletter, wall of fame and the intranet.
CEO “walk throughs” where the CEO visits different departments, phones or sends letters, making contact and projecting a caring image. This can be used to reinforce messages.
Small group briefings and quarterly briefings on progress and other issues.
Salary slip stickers placed on the salary slip to reinforce a message.
Devise a code red paper based communication in printed envelope marked urgent for quick important information updates, these will be identifiable as change management communication and will be easily recognisable.
Floor decals with messages or used to direct people to a venue.
Lumpy package elements for specific communication needs, eg tape measure to ‘shift your limits and calculate the rewards’.
Use a variety of communication tools. If you don’t get the desired result adapt the method or message and communicate again.
When thinking and communicating differently you will always find people who try to talk you out of it, telling you why it would never work. Most people won't step out of their comfort zone. Ignore them. The main purpose is to think differently, to look at things differently.
Give it a try. Make it outrageous - as long as it has a purpose and a clear message - and is legal of course. Put it out there, test your market.
Ideas trigger ideas. That is what these newsletters will do - give you unusual ways of communicating. You need to adapt them and personalise them to your workplace situations.
Once you start doing things differently people will sit up and take note when they see one of your communications. You set the tone with the first communication.
Try some of these ideas... types of effective communication tips, communication ideas, and techniques.
Comments? Ideas? Feedback? I'd love to hear from you. Just reply to this newsletter and tell me what you think.