Effective communication in increasingly diverse environments

Good, productive internal communications has arguably become harder, not easier. In Top Issues Facing CEOs in a March Wall Street Journal article two common themes are innovation and recruiting and keeping top people. One would think they complement each other. Not necessarily.

The vast array of technology we have at our fingertips can make us complacent, even lazy. “Let’s do a virtual Town Hall” is a common response from travel-weary managers. There are times when that option is the only feasible one. But defaulting to virtual meetings comes with a cost in terms of the quality and the effectiveness of communication.

Despite incredible technology at our fingertips, person-to-person communication will always play a pivotal role in successful internal communications says People Driven Performance (PDP) on their website and they go on to share well-grounded thoughts on just why they think that is the case.

If it is not generational differences in the workforce (we now have early stage Boomers and late stage Boomers) it is the increasing cultural differences. Geert Hofstede, regarded as one of the world’s leading representatives of intercultural research and studies, shares exceptional data on just how that manifests itself on The Hofstede Centre site. Tools like the Power Distance Index help to measure the perceptions of equality in different cultures and in different organizations.

Employee and internal communications is harder than ever and its affect on productivity and success in today’s leaner organizations has never been higher. Technology is a useful tool in helping to get the message out.

People talking to people still remains key.

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