If there’s one thing that unites all areas of a business, it’s that for their work to be effective, they need to communicate clearly and effectively.
Senior risk managers and procurement teams can’t expect their policies to result in compliance if the people who need to understand them struggle with the wording and structure. HR leaders find it hard to make their strategies part of everyday working practice when they don’t know how to “sell” them to their teams and the wider business.
R&D finds it far more difficult than it has to be to secure adequate resourcing if they can’t spell out the benefits – and likely returns – of their projects.
Legal teams may face an uphill struggle to be perceived as commercial advisors, rather than blockers, if they can’t explain the strategic value they add easily and simply.
Every area benefits from good communications
This list, of course, could go on. There isn’t a single function or area of business that doesn’t benefit from investing in intelligent, audience-aware communications. And the reverse is also true. There isn’t a single area of a business that doesn’t suffer when its communications are not as good as they could be.
We’re not talking marketing materials here. We’re talking the vital communications that keep an organisation on the right side of the law and regulation… that keep teams informed and updated… that make sure transactions and ongoing relationships with clients are optimised… that recruit the right people, or help to keep the rumour mill at bay when industrial action is threatened.
So it would be natural to think that communications are at the top of every senior business manager’s priority list. Yet it isn’t always so.
It may be we all assume that because we’ve been successful at crafting university and MBA essays, we can engage – and change the behavior of people – using the same approaches.
Take a marketing approach into every function
To communicate successfully, you have to think in terms of benefits – what’s in it for my audiences? You also have to think about what’s most important about what you have to say for them… and you need to structure your communication so that it’s impossible for your audiences to come away not understanding your key messages.
But successful business communications are about far more than letting the world know you’re well-informed. They’re about making it easy for your audiences – whoever they are – and acknowledging that they have a ton of other stuff on their radar and don’t know or need to know the terminology that you use every day.
In other words, we’re not talking about marketing communications – but we are talking about taking a marketing approach to all communications throughout an organisation. It will make your targets more achievable. And it will make your work more affective.
We think it’s time to put communications at the top of your priorities list, whichever area of the business you work in.
If you’d like to talk to us about how your area of the business could be harnessing its communications for business improvement, please give us a call.