Being busy is not a value - being AVAILABLE is!

Communication is a powerful management tool that will determine your company’s success or failure. 

The overall goal of a company is, in simple terms, to have happy customers and employees and to grow the business. However, companies around the world are facing strong financial headwinds and an uncertain economic outlook.

During these unsettled times, you can indeed become overly busy organising internal meetings, spend your time laying out potential scenarios and thinking about what challenges you might be facing the next day. BUT – is this cocoon approach going to make your primary stakeholders stick with you and your products despite the difficult outlook? Will this approach bring out the best in your people?

Probably not… 

Focus on what YOU CAN CONTROL.

Read More

Corporate culture: How to make a difference

Corporate culture is a company’s DNA. It runs through each and every employee and is the unseen vibe that allows an organization’s people to make things happen. Something you feel and sense, more than you can actually pinpoint with facts and figures, charts and graphs, It’s the buzz we notice when walking down the hallway or into the coffee corner that is called corporate culture…

Read More

Internal communication can be scary – but, believe me, it’s extremely rewarding.

You are only a few steps away from making your communication more effective and fulfilling.

Estimated reading time: 4 min

According to the Gallup State of the Global Workplace report, 85% of employees are not engaged or are actively disengaged at work. The economic consequences of this global ‘norm’ are approximately USD 7 trillion in lost productivity. Eighteen percent are actively disengaged from their work and workplace, while 67% are ‘not engaged’. Poor leadership and communication are at the heart of this issue.

Now, we all know that communicating with others is an essential aspect of workplace culture. Regardless of a person’s precise job description, from c-suite executives to every other person in the organisation, we spend most of our time planning or writing messages, actively expressing ideas or listening and responding to others. But, despite the effort that goes into this significant activity, I often hear the following frustrations:

• Why don’t they get it?

• Why am I not seeing a change in behaviour?

Read More

Sit back, relax and let it happen – a quick guide on how to organize successful town hall meetings.

So when was the last time you attended a town hall hosted by your company executive? And more importantly what did you personally get out of the meeting? And last but not least: how did you feel after the “big” event?

Let’s be honest, most of the time we simply: sit back, relax and let it happen right? And we walk back to our workplace and dive straight into our daily routine…and are rarely reminded of the event, let alone feeling any differently.

Now, I am not saying it is an easy task to plan for a large audience meeting – on the contrary, I think it is one of the most difficult meeting formats to actually plan for, because the audience is mostly heterogeneous and it is difficult to actually make this an “all inclusive” event, and even more difficult it is to have a dialogue. Inolvement and engagement are the ultimate goals which we try to achieve in employee communication - but sometimes we fail.

Read More

Trust your intuition

In today’s business world, we seem to be governed by figures and ruled by numbers, while taking decisions based on statistics and financial models. Basically, there is nothing wrong with that, but, when companies race from one quarterly results reporting to the next without questioning the implications beyond their Excel sheets, I really wonder how this will lead to long-term engagement by management, employees and investors.

In many companies, this type of behavior leaves little room for experimenting, i.e. trial and error, or simply allowing people to follow their gut feeling when tackling an issue or trying to solve a problem. It often doesn’t encourage critical dialogue either. Therefore, I’d like to share with you two personal stories in which, I believe, intuition helped to make a difference.

"What really matters is hard work, directed by intuition,...

Read More

Sharing is caring!

Situation

A multinational, mid-size company was aware of the common problems their employees were dealing with. At the time those were rather broadly defined issues such as; malfunctioning systems, broken inter-company processes, inappropriate communication channels and messages and lacking customer-centric actions.

In their quest to find the real issues, different methodologies including tailored surveys and informal roundtables were used. But, unfortunately none of these helped reveal the real issues either. Employees stated that their problems were not identified correctly, nor did they find a way to describe them in the context of their individual business situations, and they certainly did not feel that their issues were effectively acknowledged nor handled appropriately. Employees also mentioned that even if they had found a solution for a problem, they quickly moved on and that they were too busy, or there was no appropriate platform to share their experience with others around the globe. Does this sound familiar? Fortunately, the client did not give up and took the time to dig deeper. As a result together we developed the 5 practical steps for better experience sharing through Employee Communication and a corresponding model

Read More

Are you asleep in the digital age?

Digitization seems to be the buzzword of the moment and there isn’t a day that goes by without a new survey or another article on the topic. So much is currently being written and published on digital transformation that it is starting to either get confusing or overwhelming or both. What shall we make of it all? For me, there are two main aspects: First, the business angle where companies are now taking far-reaching, future-focused decisions in terms of their digital strategies which will affect not only the direction but also the culture of their enterprises. And second, the personal side where we plunge into our daily routines and devices without a second thought.

A wake-up call for companies
From what I am observing, I feel a bit skeptical....

Read More

Feeling a little courageous today

Why don’t we – for a change and in our daily lives – take a different approach to things. Let’s look at the issues we are dealing with a bit more holistically, while putting the person at the centre of attention. It’s a matter of taking that different perspective consciously, viewing things from another angle and turning the tasks ‘inside out’, because only when we understand a person’s background and history, their motivations, interests and ideas, can we start connecting the dots to others, thus becoming more resourceful and creative. – I am always a bit hesitant about using the word ‘creative’ since it can mean so many different and such a variety of things. But, in this context I feel it is appropriate. – This can result in a richer solution and a more fulfilling outcome, because you’ve considered some non-obvious factors in the equation.

Maybe you’re a team leader or project manager: How have you taken a deeper look at what could enrich the projects you are working on?

We should dare to be curious and courageous, dig deep and look far, ask a lot of questions, learn to recognize an unusual side of something and start acknowledging a person’s wealth of experience and expertise not just based on their CV but on their overall life experience. This may include unexpected areas such as a hobby, a voluntary involvement, a special interest or someone’s heritage. It’s worth to take a second look.

As an HR business partner or recruiting manager, what do you ask your interviewees to find out more about a person’s background and life experience?

Every once in a while, we should take the unconventional road by having the courage look the other way, ask the extra question and listen even better to the person in front of you. By bringing these ingredients together in a new and passionate way, it can turn into a valuable, fulfilling and sustainable outcome for everyone.

So, the next time you are having your sitting together with a bunch of people or even when you’re just out to lunch with a colleague, show the extra interest and learn something new by being a little more courageous!

How have you been courageous today? Let us know.

by Christine Köchli

Do you have a moment?

Moments of spontaneous gestures and words that my family, friends, colleagues, clients and sometimes complete strangers share with me are many times my source of inspiration in life. In this blog I want to share with you one example of that very personal human moment, which is authentic and fresh – one that touches your heart and your soul. I am thinking about that particular moment in which you feel intensely moved as well as filled with a lot of gratitude. Those instances are unplanned and have no communication strategy – they are simply positive human actions which lead to positive human reactions.

My story on human communication
A few months back, when I passed by our local commune shelter....

Read More

Clear vs cluttered

portrait photo christine_cut.jpg

What is a clear message, an understandable text, digestible content? In today’s corporate world it’s often hard to find simply worded, easy to understand, relevant and meaningful information, especially when it comes to translating company strategies into key messages and storylines. So stop cluttering your messages, brochures and power point slides with corporate jargon, filler words, technical terms and abbreviations that clog up your texts. Keep it simple, clear, pragmatic. It makes your writing more informative, more entertaining and hopefully more relevant.

There is a reason why it still is best practice to adhere to the basic principles of good journalistic writing: Who, When, Where, What, How, Why. I use it all the time. Even if only as a mini checklist to make sure I've covered all my bases, and because I then feel more at ease. Your readers will be more interested in what you have to say, motivated by the knowledge and information you are sharing, possibly intrigued by the message you are conveying and maybe even engage in a conversation with you. What more do you want.

What do you think about this post? Please let us know.

by Christine Köchli