Time is our most precious at-work commodity.
E-mail and PowerPoint usage dominate our workplaces.
Communication is the single most important career skill.
We can text everything, but should we??
This page is devoted to select research that helps you consider the issues of workplace productivity. Communication in business is our largest asset and our most costly to maintain. Yet it is something that we don't see easily. Business communication is expected and practised, but is it efficient and effective?Many of us know we could improve in this core area and we should. Technology has broken down the old barriers of walls and paper, but its advent produces other problems that we don't learn in colleges and universities - how to fashion/shape our message to various audiences in a way that is credible, clear and with shared understanding. Communication software like PowerPoint and Outlook are deceptively easy tools to use but without knowledge of developing the appropriate underlying message, we show off our ignorance.
The Research says...
Research shows inability to get to the point or the key message is a leading cause of confused workplace communication. As well, too much information and lack of a clear objective are also time-challenging culprits. A large part of the problem is coordinating technology to create high-impact messages. Technology should just be the medium with the speaker or writer controlling the message. Often this is not the case, resulting in poorly-aimed messaging draining audience and speaker/writer time.
Workplace communication skills are mission critical, but it’s not a visible burning platform so this area receives little focused attention. Consider these findings:
68% of employees must write well to do their jobs; for knowledge workers 40% of
their time is spent writing
Omnibus Surveys by Greenfield Research (USA) and Pollara Inc. (Canada) -2005
“the production of PowerPoint documents is a means to generate and legitimize
knowledge…shaping the decisions made…creating space where
new strategies and organizational changes are negotiated.”
Strategy and PowerPoint: An Inquiry into the Epistemic Culture and Machinery of Strategy Making, Prof. Sarah Kaplan, Rotman School of Management -2009
12% of corporate payrolls are spent annually on dealing with
low-value emails – either poorly written or needlessly
received – this equates to one hour per day per employee.
Email in the Workplace: Coping with Overload, Prof. Christina Cavanagh, Richard Ivey School of Business -2004
These statistics serve to support the importance of software based communications. There are also underlying suggestions that use and misuse of these tools has greater social and career impact that we may wish to believe.
- What do you think when you receive a poorly written email message from a subordinate or colleague?
- How do you react when you see a presentation with overly detailed visuals and a speaker who spends their talk time explaining the slide details or worse reading them?
Sadly, we see these situations happen every day. But these don't have to happen to YOU!
Communication in business is profitable. Failing to act results in continued lost opportunities to make a difference through enhancing your career or business interests. Please contact us now to learn more. We'd love to hear from you.