Research shows that over-communicating pays off – workplace messaging needs to be repeated twice or more to be more effective. This fits with the principles of external PR and advertising messages – repeat the message for better effect. In fact, the 2012 Edelman Trust Barometer survey found PR messages need to be repeated at least 3-5 times to gain traction with recipients. The repetitions can be in the form of variations on a theme and in different channels rather than the exact message being repeated.
Harvard professors have concluded that to get employees to do something, managers need to ask them at least twice. The researchers often observed managers sending 3-4 repeated communications using different technology each time such as a face-to-face meeting followed by a telephone/cell phone contact. This reinforcement of messages was more effective than managers just communicating once due to the fact that employees are getting heaps of other competing communication pieces and distractions in the workplace.
Managers without formal power send messages more often than managers with formal power, and also were able to get tasks done faster with fewer problems. Managers with power appeared to assume employees would respond to their requests and had to do more problem-solving because things went wrong more often. The conclusion from this is to follow up your messages in the workplace as well as in external communication.
Make office politics work for you
Gaining a good understanding of office politics will help your career. Here are three ways you can navigate through your office politics, even if you are a bit uncomfortable with having to do it:
Map your networks – informal social networks are as important as formal structures, probably more important. It is worthwhile to map out in a document which people and groups have influence and how they are connected. Then prioritize and cultivate them.
Set the principle of reciprocation in action – give and receive favors to and from key contacts – people with power and influence.
Campaign for your career – you need to ‘sell’ your worth to senior management by standing for important principles such as values and arranging supporters.
Adapted from Harvard Business Review Tip of the Day 1 June 2012.
How internet users spend their time online
The average internet user spends most of their time online on social media (22%), search (21%), reading content (20%) and email (19%), according to recent research.
Around 30% of the world’s population goes online. US internet users spend on average an hour a day on the internet.
Aspects of the internet undergoing the highest growth rates are location-based services (eg local shops and map services), timeshifting television, and internet banking. The least growing trends are professionally created videos, live internet videos, and user-created videos.
Source: Go-Gulf.com, May 2012.
Until next time,
Principal, Cutting Edge PR