Communication Sancoche? Yes – You need a mix

Social media in the workplace gained a new, powerful ally yesterday. The Harvard Business Review sent a Management Tip of the Day  with the title “Encourage the Use of Social Media At Work”. Great. Facebook and LinkedIn for all now right? Wrong. When it comes to communication at work, your organization needs a Communication Sancoche (Caribbean Soup with Split Peas Base traditionally made of a variety of left over meats and provisions) – not just a the entree of Social Media which can, be as bland if not seasoned right.

Just as the flavour of Sancoche varies from household to household, so should the ingredients in your communication mix. The exact ingredients will vary based on the communication appetite of your audience as well. Social media is not a panacea. Its not a band-aid either. To quote a colleague, “Know your people. know your people. Know them some more”. How do you do this….Old fashioned Communication and modern communication approaches. Introducing the standard week one communication sancoche recipe:

Is Your Workplace Hungry? Find Out With this Basic Communication Sancoche Recipe

  1. Face to Face Meetings: “OMG, who has the time these days?” Make time. The exact quantity of this KEY ingredient to making your Communication Sancoche depends on the organization size. The more workers you have, the more face to face you need. YOU (yes you well dressed Communication Exec) needs to walk the oil rigs, visit the lunch rooms, talk to staff in kitchens AND YES, pull them aside at the watercooler or bathroom sink and TALK. Not from a script or with a survey, just talk and gain the pulse/ feeling/ sense of the average employee.
  2. Surveys: D’ (the) Boss man likes numbers. Give him/ her some. Communication survey samples should be no less than the average size YOUR BOSS thinks is sufficient. IE, don’t say “This is a survey sample of 10% which scholar xyz says is sufficient”. Instead, find out (via ingredient #1) what survey size he/she is comfortable with AND EXCEED IT. What to ask? What do you want to know more about? What communication channel/ method would you like to receive most of your information from? Etc. And guess what, dstribute the survey via various channels. Remember, not everyone loves Survey Monkey as much as you do….
  3. Recognition: Um, is this communication? How would your recognize excellent performance without communication? Thus, find a way to include it in various communication channels. Think of this as the SALT in your recipe. You need it, even though you don’t always think you do. Is it a small section in your employee magazine? Is this a weekly “Kudos Korner” on your Intranet? The ways you highlight this will vary on the results from ingredients #1 and #2. But don’t skip it, because you Communication Sancoche will be bland without it.
  4. Memos, Letters and Handbooks: Soooo two thousand and late right? Well if you want your communication sancoche to give your audience that “Boom Boom Pow” feeling, you still need  these old fashioned channels as much as the Black Eyed Peas need that heavy baseline to make their songs ROCK. Yep. Nothing beats a memo (hardcopy or not) to drive home the “Official Nature” of a major policy change, important happening OR to recognize employees (scroll up amigo!). Again, like too much of any ingredient will kill the flavour of your Communication Sancoche – you need to balance the memos with informal communication events
  5. Events: What? Spend money to wine and dine? Yes – without employee events the ingredients 1-4 won’t gel. People need to commune to feel part of a common group/ shared vision/ family (yes, I said it). You can work with your Executives to squeeze out every ounce of ROI from your employee event. Example: ensure they network, ensure best performers are highlighted and help your boss remember key achievements/ names (FYI – you are the person that gets them this info and reminds them of it through the event.

Is there more? Yes. Your staff will tell you what else is needed. See ingredients 1-3.

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2 Responses to “Communication Sancoche? Yes – You need a mix”

  1. Laura Says:

    I like the recipe! Those ingredients have always worked for me.

    • caribbeancontessa Says:

      Thanks for the comment! Please visit the blog again and let me know more of what YOU want to know about!

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