How Poor Communication Strategies Widened the Corporate Productivity Gap

Responding to a Crisis

Changing Priorities

How Companies Transitioned Their Communications and Collaboration Online — Survey

  • Most respondents had their employees working entirely in-office prior to the pandemic (53%)
  • Some had their staff WFH some of the time (32%).
  • Only 13% had fully remote staff.
  • Increased cost — going from “free” collaboration methods to having to pay for apps.
  • Learning hurdles — Having to train staff on the proper use of the new apps and creating learning materials.
  • Adapting to new security risks — Employees not using secure networks.
  • Lack of personalization — For companies that require face-to-face interactions with customers, this is ultimately a trade-off for a wider talent pool and other benefits that come via apps.
  • Creating information silos — Critical nformation isn’t shared between departments which results in duplication of effort, lack of synergy and missed opportunities.
  • Leadership challenges — Extroverted more hands-on leaders need to balance contraint and how they manage others.
  • Having to dedicate resources towards creating new remote-work policies.
  • Ensuring all employees have the necessary home setups to use the new tools.
  • Most businesses had to switch to working remotely.
  • In almost every case, the capabilities of the technology-enhanced communication and collaborative potential.
  • The negative impact of the switch mostly involved getting everyone up to speed on how to use the new software/tools. However, some businesses (ones dependent on in-person interaction) have faced additional challenges.

Moving the Meetings to Zoom

Employee Burnout Becomes a Global Problem

  • While this “tax” impacts 30% of all employed Canadians surveyed, it is significantly higher for remote workers and has increased over the pandemic.
  • Nearly half (44%) of remote workers say they are logging more hours than pre-pandemic times. This figure has doubled over the past year (21% in April 2020 vs. 44% in May 2021).
  • Of the 44% of respondents reporting working longer hours, one in ten said working an additional day or more (8+ hours) per week.

Disconnect Between Business Leaders and Workers

The Cycle of Crisis, Optimism, and Pessimism

Email for Everything

  • Employees being unfamiliar with their companies’ email features and capabilities
  • Increased ratio of noise to relevant emails (62% vs. 38%) being sent
  • Information siloing, as necessary information starts getting lost in the noise
  • Breakdowns in interdepartmental communications
  • Growing levels of distraction for employees, with it taking on average 2.5 hours to find what they need and 64 seconds to get back to work after checking a new message
  • Email itself becoming a symbol of stress

Email Becomes Synonymous with Stress

The Cost of Poor Digital Communications

“The Problem is Email!” — A Decade’s Worth of Red Herrings

  • Van Meter decided to ban emails and calls outside of office hours (including booked vacation time).
  • Reliable PSD banned email one day of the week except for one hour in the morning and another at the end of the day.
  • Get Organized tried to replace email with other communication and collaboration apps.

Looking Forward, What Should Companies be Doing?

Move Forward, Not Backward

Re-evaluate Your Internal Communication Strategy

How Effective, and Poor Communications Impacts Business

Employees Now Expect Some Amount of WFH

Understand How Your Employees are Using the New Software

Conclusion

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