Where is Business Communication Going?

0
109

Where is Business Communication Going? The 2024 Grammarly State of Business Communication report is live. Every year, Grammarly does a deep dive to see where and how business communication has changed and what we, as leaders, need to focus on so that we can ensure that we are listened to, understood, and engaged with.

It is a forty-page report, and the ironic thing is, ninety-eight percent of you will never read the full report because it is too dense, too long, and most of it does not apply to you or your business, or at least that is what you believe.

Most communicators fail to remember that communicating is not about you or demonstrating how smart you are; it is about conveying information practically that can be easily understood and used by those you are trying to communicate with.

Here are two things from the report to focus on.

  • Big surprise: Artificial Intelligence is a focus of 2024.
  • Another big surprise is that most workers spend far more time discussing what they should be doing rather than doing it.

We are using more channels to communicate and converse more frequently, creating confusion and frustration.

WHY?

The body of knowledge is not within one channel that can be easily accessed and referenced but instead spread across multiple mediums. People have to reference numerous channels to understand what they are supposed to understand fully. This makes people unsure which information is up to date, by whom it was updated, when, and what the next course of action should be.

This multi-medium approach can lead to waylaid projects, decreased productivity, and increased costs. However, there are other challenges.

So, what do you do:

Ø  When everyone does not think, act, and react in the same way?

Ø  When different people learn, hear, and understand differently?

Ø  When everyone does not feel comfortable using a single medium to gain information?

You create a central database from which all mediums can pull information.

A single source, with up-to-the-minute policies and procedures containing synopses of the “why we are doing this” built into them. That information is updated by a single person or team responsible for all critical updates. That information is then time-and-date-stamped to ensure accuracy and to determine who inputs it into the system.

In larger organisations, I suggest cross-team functionality, where different departments are responsible for keeping their part of the repository updated and accurate. They are closest to the information and changes and understand the ramifications.

It would be up to each team to have a person responsible for disseminating that new information across channels.

They would also provide everyone with a quick synopsis of the changes, why, and where they can get the latest and most accurate information. However, there is a caveat. That information must then be presented in ways relevant to the intended audience, clear, and concise, and demonstrate how these changes affect goals and objectives.

This way, most people receive a simple and concise summary of changes, how they may affect what they are doing and why, and if more detailed information is required, people know where the single source of reference is to search out what they need.

As I mentioned at the beginning of this piece, communication is about making things easier for those receiving the information and charged with implementing changes.

Yes, this requires investment in people, time, and resources, but not doing so can cost a mid-sized organization millions of dollars and drive good employees and clients elsewhere.