Fire Hose Effect
5 ways to avoid overwhelming employees
Are you asking employees to drink from a fire hose? If you’re communicating constantly with employees yet they don’t seem to read or engage with what you’re putting out there, you might be saying too much all at once. Here are five tips for creating a more manageable flow:
Calendarize your communications
Build an annual editorial calendar, spreading your key messages across months and weeks, and assigning them to your various internal channels. The goal is to spread out topics across the year so you’re not trying to communicate everything, all at the same time.
Feed info in bite-sized chunks
Don’t expect employees to take it all in at one sitting. A lot of those topics will have several aspects, so break the messages down into smaller parts. For instance, if you have four strategic initiatives, give each one its own issue of the employee newsletter.
Make the theoretical real
Give employees concrete examples of abstract concepts like values. For instance, let leadership talk about how the values guide their strategy, or tell the story of how an employee applies one of the values in their day-to-day work.
Don’t fall into the TLDR trap
Would you rather have employees read all of a short article or part of a long one? Keep your word count reasonable on written communications. And use the journalistic pyramid style, so that the most important information comes at the top.
Make each communication a gift
Realize that you’re competing with all the communications employees encounter outside the workplace — from Instagram posts to high-end retail sites. Give your communications the benefit of engaging content, as well as high-caliber design.