Communication and OD
When thinking about communication and OD, what seems most important is engaging employees’ hearts and minds. This happens at all levels of the organization through both formal and informal communication channels. When the communication channels are bi-directional, employees feel more engaged. When there is clarity in the organizations’ central mission and employees understand their specific part in achieving the mission, they will be self-motivated to set expectations on their own that are often higher than those the organization may ask of them. Their actions will become more intrapreneurial with a strong sense of accountability. Effective communication plays a key part in the engagement and internalization by each employee toward the mission.
A good example of a communication platform that enables the voice of the employee to be heard is through Forums and Blogs. In our company, in addition to traditional forms of communication such as email, conference calls, town meetings and employee sat surveys, we use Forums and Blogs on a number of topics to create communities of practice within the organization. This is especially powerful given our rapid, global expansion over the past several years. Forums and Blogs help to level the playing field by enabling all to participate without geographical constraints. In particular, we have had the request to create Forums/Blogs for participants of our leadership development programs so they can continue to exchange ideas and support each other regardless of their geographical location after the training is over.
Because people are now accustomed to having so many distractions (TV, iPod, etc), many are missing self-awareness due to lack of down time and subsequently impacting their ability to relate effectively to others. We have a challenge to capture the members hearts and minds, and an obligation to engage them in the mission of the organization by providing platforms for them to have a voice in shaping the mission.