Best communication practices require year-round benefits campaigns (Part 2)

This article continues last week’s about the increasing need for year-round benefits open enrollment communications. This week our focus is on the finances of benefits elections with emphasis on incentives and taxes. Here are a few reasons why communicating once a year in the Fall may no longer be enough:



By | September 14th, 2016|change communications, internal communications|0 Comments

Best practice communications: Communicating health benefits year-round (Part 1)

Open enrollment communications used to happen annually. Not any longer. Changes to health care have turned benefits communications into year-round campaigns with heavy education and training components.


In addition to health benefits enrollment communications that traditionally happen between September and November, there are now good reasons to plan separate but related campaigns in December/January, in March/April, and in May/June.

Get better value from company events

What is the dollar investment of one all-hands employee meeting? Forget the logistics: the venue, support staff, communications, and other costs. For a minute, just consider the salaries involved.


Assume 10,000 employees making an average of $50,000 per year, or about $24 per hour. For a two hour meeting (with 30 minutes of additional time for employees to show up and then get back to their desks): 24 times 10,000 times 2.5 is $60,000.



Change imperatives: Handwashing in health care

The CDC reports that on any given day about 1 in 25 patients gets an infection. That’s roughly 2 million people per year, and hand hygiene contributes significantly to the problem.


Yes, hand washing translates to incalculable suffering and millions of dollars of unnecessary health care cost and waste.



By | August 23rd, 2016|change management, employee wellness, health care|0 Comments

FLSA changes: Get a good start on creating more effective internal communications

As August winds down, you may feel like you are falling behind when it comes to implementing and communicating Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) changes that will affect the exempt/non-exempt status of many employees.


There are many web resources and organizations such as the PHRA to help you manage the change, but the focus of this article is on communication and some things you can start doing now, even if you do not yet know all the details of how FLSA changes will affect your workforce.



By | August 22nd, 2016|change management, FLSA, internal communications|0 Comments

The Crimson Sphere: A short allegory

Janet, a director at ENCompetent Inc., summons Max to her office one morning. Max, a frontline manager, arrives at the door but he can hardly see Janet because she is working behind a giant red exercise ball that takes up most of the space on her desk.


“What’s with the red ball?” Max asks.



By | August 19th, 2016|change management, internal communications|0 Comments

Make your messages actionable (starting now)

Information overload is at this moment harming the productivity and competitiveness of your business.


A 2009 Harvard Business Review article by Paul Hemp references research on “the surging volume of available information… [that] can adversely affect not only personal well-being but also decision making, innovation, and productivity. In one study… people took an average of nearly 25 minutes to return to a work task after an e-mail interruption.”


By | August 11th, 2016|change communications, internal communications|0 Comments

Communication volumes could be killing your business

aaeaaqaaaaaaaajmaaaajgzizdhhnmriltc0odmtnduwzi05ytkzltvknjnmnmjly2i5nqIn the book, Leading Change, John Kotter identifies “a failure to communicate” as one of the major factors causing low success rates among corporate change initiatives. He estimates that in one month:

  • the total amount of communication reaching the average employee is roughly 2.3 million words or numbers
  • the typical communication of a change effort is approximately 13,400 words

It follows that the average change communication effort will capture what he calls “information market share” of about .6 percent (13,400 divided by 2.3 million) per month relative to every other company-related piece of content.



By | August 8th, 2016|change communications, internal communications|0 Comments

Managers are the fulcrum for successful change

Frontline managers are the center of activity for companies — where grand strategy becomes practical activity. They also establish your organization’s most nuclear bond of trust. Employees generally turn to their immediate supervisor, not just for messaging content, but also for tone: Is this really going to work? Should we take this initiative seriously? Do we have a reason to worry?



By | August 1st, 2016|change communications, internal communications|0 Comments

Drowning in randomness

There is a well-known photo of Lego people pushing a cart with square wheels. An observer stands to one side holding a set of round ones, while his laboring peers respond, “No thanks. We are too busy.”


Nassim Nicholas Taleb is a veteran trader and thoughtful essayist. In his book, Fooled by Randomness, he observes that, “Trading forces someone to think hard; those who merely work hard generally lose their focus and intellectual energy. In addition, they end up drowning in randomness [in ways that]… draw people to focus on noise rather than the signal.”