Created with Sketch.
The Swear Jar
35 minutes | Sep 5, 2021
Making It On the Big Screen
It seems like it was just yesterday when the prospect of leveraging build screens as an internal communications tool was out of reach. And the reasons were plentiful:The technology was too expensive;Since big screens were the purview of the IT department, they alone designed, installed, and maintained the screens; andBecause of the cost of big screens, they’d only be used for almost anything other than trying to engage and inspire employees.But things have changed drastically. Now, big screens are increasingly part of the employee communications toolbox --- or, tech stack. But how do we prevent them from being as marginalized as the Health & Safety poster in the lunchroom on the bulletin board placed under the “Looking to sell my used crock pot” ad?Well, we answer this question and unearth how employee communications professionals can actually use these screens to advance important communications goals. And, to do this, we sit down with Sean Matthews – President and CEO of Visix. Visix is an enabler of big screen technologies that helps companies around the globe manage these hard assets and the content that gets served up on them. During our lively discussion, we tackle the following topics:Myths about "big screens" in employee communicationsHow to determine if you're ready to use "big screens"The strengths and weaknesses of "big screens" for employee communicationsThe unique power of "big screens" in employee communicationsBest practices for using "big screens" in employee communications
38 minutes | Aug 8, 2021
Stop Surveying Employees and Start Listening to Them
Every Fearless Communicator has a love-hate relationship with surveys. But, let's take a step back and remind ourselves why we survey employees in the first place. Ostensibly, we're trying to "listen to employees" because doing so helps the organization and, by extension, everyone in it, be far more successful.So, put employee surveys aside for a moment and let's re-examine the best ways we can (and should be) listening. And, to be clear, we're talking about how organizations can bake effective listening into regular activities, processes and technologies--- rather than one-on-one listening (although, to be frank, that's a discipline that also needs some attention).That sounds like it's going to be quite the earful. So, we're not tackling this topic alone. We sit down with Mike Pounsford, Founder of Couravel. Mike is one of the minds behind the internationally-renowned initiative, The Listening Project which helps organizations understand how and when to listen to employees better. Since we've always guided Fearless Communicators to build, implement, and manage listening strategies, please forgive the lovefest.In our discussion we address the challenges you will face when rolling out and/or refining your listening strategies. That means we answer the following questions:What must organization listening look like to be effective?What are the tangible business benefits of listening?How are employee surveys different from efforts to listen well?What are the most common barriers to organizations listen effectively?What can Fearless Communicators do tomorrow to ensure listening produces positive and tangible results?You'd expect our shared passion for listening strategies to be peppered with plenty of expletives. Strangely, this wasn't the case....(this surprised us too). Of course, the good news is that this episode is certainly safe for work. By all means, give this episode of The Swear Jar a listen and let us know what you think.
33 minutes | Jul 31, 2021
Changing Roles: Can Employee Comms and O.D. Play Nice?
In your role as an employee communications professional, chances are you’re expected to ensure proposed changes --- like adoption of new policies, procedures, or technologies --- get effectively introduced and actually “stick”. And that’s regardless of whether you have any kind of change management skills, training, or support.Life gets even messier for you when folks from HR, training and project management share your mandate to bring about desired behavioural change. And, then there’s O.D. (Organizational Development) which is certainly one of the more misunderstood organization functions. With all these fingers in the pie, life for an employee communications professional isn’t just messy – it can be confusing, frustrating, dysfunctional, and sadly sometimes even hostile.That’s why we sat down with Nicole Shokoples who provides O.D. consulting at ATB Financial by serving as their Director, Strategy/Chief of Staff - Organizational Development & Consulting. Nicole shares her insights and enthusiasm about how and when employee communicators can work best (or, at least better) with O.D. work colleagues.Topics we cover with Nicole include: What O.D. professionals are measured on What O.D. professionals never tell their communications colleagues (but probably should)What Comms professionals should share with O.D. (but probably don’t) The importance for forging a strong relationship between Comms and O.D.How communicators can make nice with O.D.If your next employee communications project aims at changing behaviour, be sure to check out this episode of The Swear Jar podcast.
25 minutes | Jun 15, 2021
Communications Ain't No F**N Soft Skill
The verdict is in: Every survey asking leaders which skills they consider essential to success and/or growth sees “communications skills” called out in the top five responses --- and often, within the top three. And yet, organizations all too often neglect, minimize or worse, discredit communications skills. Contributing to this unfortunate reality is the branding of communications as “soft skills”. So, Elizabeth and I unpack the “soft skills” label and identify actions that communications professionals can take to essentially re-brand communications. Hey, if you’re not sure if this is happening in your organization, here are three questions that can help you determine --- and demonstrate to your supervisors --- whether communications skills are getting the attention they need to meet their demand for great communicators:· Is the request for great communications skills from job seekers relegated to the “nice to have” section in your company’s job descriptions?· Are communications skills omitted from the performance evaluation of leaders and/or front-line managers?· Is the budget for building communications skills limited to preparing PowerPoint presentations and/or speaking publicly?If you answered “yes” to any of these questions, you should listen to this episode of The Swear Jar podcast where we tackle something that is both a contributing cause, and a symptom of, communications skills being considered an organizational after-thought. Specifically, Elizabeth and I go head-to-head to tackle the labelling, and perception, of communications as a “soft skill”. While we may not agree wholly on this topic, during our lively discussion, we provide some practical suggestions that you can take if communications is getting short-changed in your organization.Topics we touched upon include:The Communications FallacyThe Practice of Excuse and EvasionGetting away from the hard vs soft discussionExpanding/redefining communications
45 minutes | Jun 14, 2021
All Aboard: A Technology Adoption Success Story
Let’s face it, it’s tough introducing a new technology or a new process, into your organization. And like it or not, as the professional communicator, you’re often “on the hook” for making sure these kinds of changes are embraced. That’s why Nekolina Lau’s Gold Quill award-winning story about how ATB Financial successfully launched a large-scale technology on-boarding initiative is so very inspiring and helpful.Okay, here’s a question for you: How likely do you think your next technology roll out will achieve a score of 89% when it comes to your stakeholders understanding (and embracing) the key messages? Oh, and keep in mind that the new technology, coupled with new processes, will span nearly 1000 people over 175 locations. Sound impossible? Well it can be done! That's why we’re thrilled to have Nekolina Lau, Director of Communications at ATB Financial, share with us how she exceeded all of the ambitious adoption-related targets established for rolling out a new technology and related processes. Topics we touched upon include:Working with the change teamWhat and when to measure adoptionUsing an agile transformationConcerns of end-users (and acting as tech support)Fitting a new adoption initiative into a wider transformationWhat happens when new technologies overlap with the existing technologiesThe three P's (Plan, Partner and Prepare to Pivot)The three R's (Resist, Retreat and Refuse to Drive Results)
39 minutes | May 27, 2021
Rolling Out a New SharePoint Intranet: A Success Story
"Intranets aren't sexy". That's the word according to Amanda Stephenson, RSA's Manager of Communications. (And, it couldn't be more true). Yet, Amanda recently won a Gold Quill Award for rolling out an upgrade of an on-premises version of SharePoint to a cloud-based version. How on earth could she have managed that --- given that this kind of project is pretty much at the bottom of the list of projects that strategic communicators want to lead??On this episode of The Swear Jar, Amanda shares with Elizabeth and me her inspiring story while highlighting practical and actionable lessons that all communications professional can learn from. Topics we touched upon include:How to establish intranet project goalsHow to choose metrics that ensure continued project support How to deal with "change fatigue"How to deal with resistance to the roll-outHow to brand the roll-out so that cuts through the clutterEpisode IndexProject goals and KPIs 2:00 The organization context 7:00The roll-out and range of stakeholders 11:00Sources of resistance 15:10Some items of interest 20:50Key do's and don'ts 21:44Results 25:50Summary 28:55The Gold Quill 30:45What caught our attention 33:11ABC Resources Highlighted in this EpisodeOvercoming ResistanceWhat's in Your Communications Stack? The Swear Jar PodcastIABC World Conference June 28-30Worst Company Ever: How to Respond to Online Reviews by EmployeesEmployee Change Communications That Work
59 minutes | Apr 25, 2021
The Hearts & Minds of Middle Managers
Employee engagement is creeping up, but guess who's not engaged? Middle managers. Those much-maligned and ignored folks are under more pressure than ever to get stuff done and keep their organizations moving.Natalia Smalyuk of Not Business As Usual joins us for a wide-ranging look at why middle managers are struggling, how executives can re-engage them before it's too late, and how organizations need to double down on purpose, authenticity, connection and trust to get through the pandemic crisis period. Key Topics1:38: Why Natalia started a business in the middle of a pandemic3:50: Why middle managers aren’t engaged7:25: Misunderstandings and uncertainty8:55: The coming battle for the hearts and minds of middle managers11:00: Purpose and engagement16:42: Why are managers struggling and what can we do?26:20: Do middle managers have to curate their presence30:30: Invisible, absent middle managers35:25: Who’s getting it right?43:20: Advice for middle managers49:35 Summary
39 minutes | Apr 3, 2021
What's in Your Communications Stack? (Part 1)
We all know it: Marketing always gets all the fanfare when it comes to innovation. After all, stuff that contributes to bringing revenue to our corporate overlords is generally valued more than activities that keep the lights on --- like managing employee communications! We, as Fearless Communicators get that. We’ve all seen the Marketing Department’s budgets expand for evaluating, implementing and training on the “marketing communications stack”. But flying under the radar a slew of technology tools have been developed to meet the rapidly evolving needs of employee communicators. They don’t get the attention (or budgets) that marketing communications tools get but, they are critical in helping organizations establish and sustain employee alignment, engagement and community.And, while employee communications tools are just, well, tools and not strategy, as Fearless Communicators we all need to keep acquainted with their strengths and weaknesses because they may help achieve our employee communications goals. That’s why we sat down with ClearBox's, Suzie Robinson. Suzie is responsible for the industry research reports that ClearBox publishes on SharePoint intranets, non-SharePoint intranet products, and employee apps.While you can only go so deep in 39 minutes, we did manage to cover a lot of ground, including:A proven Digital Workplace framework for employee communicatorsFighting the urge towards to go whole hog with one technologyThe role of employee-focused apps as part of the Fearless Communicator’s toolboxThe secret to success for your next intranet projectWhat an intranet strategy looks likeKey TopicsWelcoming our guest, Suzie Robinson from ClearBox (1:10)Why you can't buy a digital workplace (3:30)A framework for your digital workplace (4:45)Placing into perspective employee Apps (9:00)Intranets, SharePoint and Microsoft Teams (16:00)Summary and some more cool examples (24:45)What we’re liking (33:35)ABC Resources Highlighted in this EpisodeOvercoming ResistanceWorst Company Ever: How to Respond to Online Reviews by EmployeesEmployee Change Communications That WorkOther Resources Highlighted in this EpisodeWatching & Listening· Another Door (Podcast)Reading· What does an intranet strategy look like· Black Box Thinking by Matthew Syed· The Appreciative Inquiry Summit - A Practitioner's Guide for Leading Large-Group Change by Ludema, Whitney, Mohr and GriffinJoin Our CommunitySign up to receive our news and tips Follow us on LinkedInVisit us at Academy of Business Communications
36 minutes | Mar 7, 2021
Is the Light at the End of the Tunnel an Oncoming Train?
Robert Gold is well-known throughout the Canadian business community as a thought-leader, an early adopter of technology and a trusted advisor to growing companies of all shapes and sizes.Because he helps organizations across industries successfully navigate their growth, he has a broad view of how and why organizations are going to emerge post-pandemic. And, while it’s true that our discussion with Robert ping-pongs wildly, we felt only slightly exhausted --- but truly invigorated. Elizabeth, Robert and I discussed a wide range of topics on what is causing our work realities to evolve. And we reflect on how they’re shaping communications within organizations. We touch upon topics including:Trust and productivityEvolving expectations of employersEvolving expectations of employeesHybrid working modelsThe importance of employers and employees listeningThe evolution/convergence of individual and collective purposeBecause we cover a lot of ground in this episode, chances are you’ll want to listen to it a couple of times. Certainly Elizabeth and I concluded that the light at the end of the pandemic tunnel is moving quickly but, if it’s an oncoming train, employee communicators can indeed be prepared for it. This podcast episode is a great complement to The Swear Jar episode, "I Think We Have a Loose Connection" where Happeo's Global Communications Manager reveals some research findings about how connected employees are to organizations.
32 minutes | Mar 6, 2021
I Think We Have a Loose Connection
Here’s an annoyingly simple truth: If your employees don’t feel emotionally connected to your organization’s purpose, its cultural values, its tasks or its people, your organization will underperform. In fact, your organization won’t survive even in the most favorable times --- never mind during times of severe upheaval (like during and after a pandemic). So, establishing and sustaining a strong emotional bond is something every organization should be placing on senior leadership’s regular agenda and actively managing.The good news is the folks at Happeo have just released some research addressing the degree to which employees feel connected to their organizations. And, not surprisingly, the role of employee communicators figured prominently in the findings ---- although, not in the way you’d expect And that’s why we sat down with Happeo’s Global Communications Manager, Jonathan Davies. (Full disclosure here, we recently co-authored, The Employee Communicator’s Ultimate Guide to Corporate Podcasting).From our discussion with Jonathan, here are a handful of key insights:There is a massive gap between what executives communicate and how employee communicators interpret, process and relay that information. Consequently, there is an unhealthy disconnect between employees at large and employee communicators.Executives cannot abdicate their responsibility to communicate well – leaving it to employee communicators. Rather, executives need to work closely with employee communicators in partnership.To get “inside the tent” with Executives, employee communicators have to take a stand and actively shift away from adopting the “publisher” or “journalist” role within organizations and become better at facilitating communications that lead to behavioral change.If employee communicators do not take this opportunity, sparked by the global pandemic, to clearly redefine and elevate the role of internal communications, they will remain undervalued or seen as less relevant. Be sure to listen to this fast-paced episode of The Swear Jar to get additional insights about how you can be the most effective employee communicator you can be!
41 minutes | Feb 27, 2021
The D Word: How to Stop Worrying and Start Communicating About Inclusion, Diversity & Equity
Is 2021 the year we finally start getting inclusion, diversity and equity (ID&E) right? In a time of overt racism in the U.S. Capitol building and the firing of KPMG's U.K. leader for calling unconscious bias "complete crap" are we finally ready to start getting ID&E right?Michael Kaneva, Chief Diversity Officer at Export Development Canada joins us on The Swear Jar to work through why we're so afraid to confront the ugly truths that underpin the need for ID&E programs in organizations. The business case is pretty clear -- diverse organizations outperform their peers, particularly when executive teams are diverse and this is the year, perhaps, where business imperative meets moral imperative but as Michael reminds us, it's not "plug, play and walk away". We can't flip a switch to make our organizations suddenly more inclusive. We need trust and respect to get things moving.But for Fearless Communicators, the who ID&E thing feels like a giant minefield full of personal and organizational risk. What if we use the wrong words? What if we need to admit that our organization has been less than stellar? How do we arm our executives to shift the narrative from the careful, mostly meaningless support noises to a conversation that confronts unpleasant realities? Key TopicsUnderstanding equity (4:30)Inclusion is not a checkbox (8:36)What are we so afraid of? (10:25)Getting pas the scary (15:45)Confronting barriers (20:20)Communication success factors (19:40)What communications teams should be doing now (24:30)How EDC approached its ID&E strategy (27:50)What success looks like (29:42)What we’re liking (35:00)ABC Resources Highlighted in this EpisodeHitting the Right Nerve PodcastWatching & ListeningBrene Brown on Empathy vs. Sympathy on YouTubeBrene Brown PodcastReadingWhite Fragility by Robin DiAngeloThe Neuroscience of Organizational Trust and Business Performance by Rebecca Johannsen and Paul ZakExecutive Communications 101 by Stephanie MannJoin Our Community● Sign up to receive our news and tips ● Follow us on LinkedIn● Visit us at Academy of Business Communications
23 minutes | Feb 15, 2021
Communications Your Audience Can’t Resist (Part 1)
There isn’t a communication professional alive who hasn’t been confronted with resistance in some form or another. In fact, comms pros are often called in to prevent or minimize resistance to upcoming transformations. However, they’re called in to clean up after big and small projects alike have come off the rails. Three Horsemen of the Apocalypse If you’re ever in a meeting and leaders use any of these three familiar phrases be forewarned -- they are expecting serious resistance…and they’re expecting you, the communications professional, to address it:· “Change Management” (this is the most insidious one) · “Change Behaviour”· “New Process Roll Out”All Too HumanLet’s start by acknowledging that resistance is NOT automatically the same thing as defiance. Yes, resistance can be active – meaning that employees speak and act against a proposed change (overtly or covertly). Furthermore, employees can influence others to resist, or find ways to have proposed changes overturned, delayed or modified. However, in the vast majority of organizations, resistance is more frequently passive -- where employees remain silent about their views or appear to agree to changes but then don’t fully embrace them. And let’s also acknowledge that resistance is a very human response to what happens in organizations.Inadvertent TriggersSo, let’s talk about what organizations – in their quest to grow, stay competitive, remain viable – inadvertently do to amp up employees’ severity, duration and frequency of resistance.Any of these situations increases resistance to change among some, or all segments of employees:· Don’t involve employees in the change…which makes employees feel less important· Sustain poor/unsafe working conditions…which erodes trust in, and emotional connection to, the organization· Go silent – so that employees don’t have an appreciation for the problems/opportunities facing the organization · Don’t address organizational cynicism (i.e., let harmful rumours circulate and go unanswered)· Don’t provide adequate employee support for important initiatives -- including development of technical skills or processing skillsAnd if that wasn’t enough of a danger list, other characteristics of work environments contribute to employees’ natural resistance to change, including the following:· High level of job insecurity· When organizations don’t share the rationale and status for proposed changes · When organizations don’t address lack of perceived injustice (i.e., when they show favoritism)· When organizations or don’t address high levels of ambiguityDo I hear a cry for an easy to use tool?Be sure to check out the official episode's show notes as we delve into useful tools and how to solve the resistance equation!
38 minutes | Feb 14, 2021
Leadership skills for the sh*t show ahead. Also goats.
If you haven't had the pleasure of listening to the Goat Rodeo Sessions by Yo-Yo Ma, Stuart Duncan, Edgar Meyer and Chris Thile, you've been missing out one what on commenter called "Bluegrass that dropped out of high school, sneaked away to NYC and went to The Juilliard School of Music."So what does this have to do with employee communications? Meet our guest, Mark Edgar of The Goat Rodeo Project and future foHRward. Mark is a former CHRO who now prevents organizational train wrecks, also called goat rodeos, also known as sh*t shows. And there is no greater goat rodeo on earth just now than the COVID-19 pandemic.Mark's been researching how leaders need to start injecting some humanity into their organizations with courage, empathy and emotional intelligence. In our lively discussion, Mark discusses how purpose is not enough -- leaders need to keep on listening to track sentiment, and to check in with their people, not check out with them.We've been talking a lot about purpose as a unifying force for trust building during uncertain times, and now is the time to starting laying down those building blocks of trust because things are not going to be "normal" for months or even years. The opportunity for communicators is clear, and Mark challenges us to focus on creating more communicators, not more communications. Organizations need skilled communicators at every level of the organization, not just the C-suite.Learn more about Mark's work and how to build the communicators your organization needs for the sh*t show ahead.Key TopicsGoats! (1:54)Leadership skills for the sh*t show (3:50)The power of empowered collectives (7:25)Listening for leaders (11:50)Trust and more goats (16:30)There is no post-COVID (19:40)What communications teams should be doing now (23:40)What we’re liking (33:45)ABC Resources Highlighted in this EpisodeScary Global Pandemic E-book Part 2Executive Communications Idea PackSpeaking Truth to Bullsh*t PodcastWatchingBorgen on NetflixThe Goat Rodeo Project on YouTubeReadingfoHRsight 2020: unlocking human leadership through technology 2021 Global Talent Trends Study by MercerThe Chasm Companion by Paul WiefelsConscious Leadership by John MackeyJoin Our Community● Sign up to receive our news and tips ● Follow us on LinkedIn● Visit us at Academy of Business Communications
41 minutes | Feb 6, 2021
(Unlearning) About the Great Undesked
The "Great Undesked" is a segment of the workforce that often gets forgotten, neglected, underserviced and sometimes even scapegoated by employers. Just think about nurses, insurance agents, healthcare givers, drivers, miners, grocery store workers, care takers and couriers --- just to name a few. These workers, who are critical to the success of so many organizations and communities, are rarely glued to their screens. So, what's an Employee Communications professional to do to effectively engage and inspire them?In this episode of The Swear Jar, we explore what makes the great undesked unique, reveal myths about these hard-working and committed employees and talk about how to effectively build trust with them.Our guest is the ever-passionate CEO of Red E App, Jonathan Erwin -- who, by the way, extends a very generous discount on his company's communications tool to listeners of The Swear Jar.Chances are your organization includes members of this critical (and fast growing) segment of the workforce. Listen in to find out how you can communicate well with the great undesked.
28 minutes | Feb 2, 2021
Reviews Are a Fu*king Gift
Whether you like it or not, your current, past and potential employees are talking sh*t about you online. It might be nice sh*t or it might be nasty sh*t, but the truth is, if you're not paying attention, someone else is owning the narrative about your brand. That's probably why fewer than 1 in 4 companies even bother to respond when someone leaves a review on Glassdoor, Indeed, Google or the countless other places (like Facebook, Reddit etc.) that people talk about what it's like to work at or apply to work at your organization. The primary reason these little gifts go unopened is that most organizations don't have the people, the processes or the playbook to do a good job of responding. And that's a shame since the vast majority of candidates read at least four reviews before they decide to apply. And guess who else is reading that nasty sh*t? That's right, your customers, investors, suppliers, partners and regulators. Sometimes even the media. as Canada's Governor General, recently discovered.This episode takes you through the ABC approach to employer reviews.Key TopicsWhy reviews are a fu*king gift(2:04)Why employers ignore them anyway (6:00)What to do when sh*t gets nasty (7:20)What about the nice sh*t people say? (9:00)Getting leaders onside (10:35)Getting people to say nicer sh*t (12:50)Why you need a system to manage reviews (13:55)Why you need a process to manage reviews (18:00)What we’re liking (24:15)ABC Resources Highlighted in this EpisodeAssessment Reviews Matrix (free download)WatchingLondon Irish on NetflixMa Rainey's Black Bottom on NetflixReadingCrow by Amy SpurwaySiri is a biased listener - Scientific AmericanJoin Our Community● Sign up to receive our news and tips ● Follow us on LinkedIn● Visit us at Academy of Business Communications
29 minutes | Jan 16, 2021
Hitting the Right Nerve
We’re going to be hearing a lot about trust in organizations this year. As we begin to figure out the new terms of engagement for the workplace in 2021, we’ll need to make sure that building and maintaining trust is a deliberate outcome of everything we do as communicators.We’ve got years of data supporting the idea that people in high trust organizations are happier and outperform those in lower trust places. In fact, they report 74% less stress, 50% more productivity, 40% less burnout and much more energy and overall satisfaction with their lives. Professor, author and neuro-economist, Paul Zak joined us on the podcast to talk about how organizations can use neuroscience to understand, predict, measure and, most importantly, build and sustain trust,Speaking of predictions, our recent podcast guest, Paul Zak uses smart watches to quickly test messaging, images, music and more using to assess which neurochemicals are released when audiences consume the content. The data is aggregated and ready for use immediately. If you have a big change initiative on the horizon, you may want to try this out in your next focus group. Key TopicsSuitcases full of money for studying trust (1:44)Why communicators need to fall in love with oxytocin (4:03)The eight elements of building trust (6:28)How Zappos worked on trust (7:55)Communicating to persuade (10:18)Persuasive stories in action (14:30)Applying neuroscience at work (16:46)Elizabeth gives a sh*t about neuroscience (19:55)What we’re liking (24:40)Other Resources Highlighted in this EpisodeGet ImmersionPodcastsThrilling Tales of Modern Capitalism Podcast by SlateVideosTed Talk: Trust, Morality and Oxytocin by Paul ZakBooksThe Moral Molecule by Paul ZakTrust Factor by Paul ZakThe Behaviour Business by Richard ChatawayThe Island at the Center of the World by Russell ShortoThe Experience Economy by Joseph Pine and James Gilmore The Pull of the Stars by Emma DonoghueJoin Our Community● Sign up to receive our news and tips ● Follow us on LinkedIn● Visit us at Academy of Business Communications Zak, P. 2017. The Neuroscience of Trust. Harvard Business Review
46 minutes | Dec 8, 2020
Getting Remote Team Communications Right
We've been at this remote work thing for long enough that you'd think managers and executives would be pretty good at communicating with their teams. Wouldn't you? But that's not what's happening.Despite the fancy technology and the creeping acceptance of dogs, babies, Amazon deliveries and knowing too much about your coworkers' bedrooms, the truth is, we're not doing a good job of communicating remotely.To learn more, we went to the guy who literally wrote (okay, co-wrote) the book on remote work, Wayne Turmel of the Remote Leadership Institute. We talked about how the adrenaline of those early pandemic days has given way to exhaustion. We looked at the barriers (and opportunities) some of that shiny new tech offers and we challenge managers to step up their skills and their communications focus to start brining a little humanity into the productivity-driven workday. Key TopicsThe shiny veneer of remote work cracks (1:35)Managers keep flailing (4:08)Technology is not our friend; it's our job (7:55)Writing actually matters -- also emojis (11:35)Building trust in the workplace (17:30)The new abnormal (25:20)Other Resources Highlighted in this EpisodeThe Remote Leadership InstituteVideosThe Vow NXIVM DocumentarySeduced: Inside the NXIVM CultBooksThe Long Distance Leader by Kevin Eikenberry and Wayne TurmelSay it Like Obama and Win by Shel LeanneChief Crisis Officer by James F. HaggertyThe Long Distance Teammate by Kevin Eikenberry and Wayne TurmelJoin Our Community● Sign up to receive our news and tips ● Follow us on LinkedIn● Visit us at Academy of Business Communications
32 minutes | Nov 16, 2020
Carrots and Communications: A recipe for all employees
Reward and recognition programs are adopted by all types of organizations – across industries – to move or more needles on employee behaviours. But, despite the best of intentions, these programs, which are often launched with much fanfare (and budgets), often fall well below their ambitious targets for engagement, retention, and organizational alignment*. The result: organizational leaders, HR executives and Project Managers can distance themselves from such programs or conclude that they’re somehow ineffective. So, what’s all this got to do with employee communications?We’ve found quite a lot employee ---- but not in the way you might expect.It is fair to say that very few organizations ensure that employee communications professionals work together with those building their reward and recognition programs. Now, stop and think about that for a minute. Does that really make sense? Considering that one of the core functions of employee communications is to reinforce an organization’s desired behaviours and true values, doesn’t it make sense for them to be involved in reward and recognition programs that are, wait for it, built to reinforce an organization’s desired behaviours and true values?Separation is not intentional, but it is problematicYou can rightly ask yourself why these two activities are kept apart from one another. On this count, there is good news according to Mike Byam. Byam is the Managing Partner of Terryberry which is one of the world’s leaders in reward and recognition platforms. Byam suggests the separation of employee communications professionals and reward and recognition programs “is not deliberate” or emerging from malice. That being said, separating these two activities creates problems and lost opportunitiesJust consider how employee communications is viewed when it comes to rewards and recognition programs. Employee communications is seen merely as how the programs are promoted. In other words, the program is the product for employees to embrace and employee communications is simply the advertising. Pigeonholing employee communications in this way means that insights about employees gathered through communications initiatives are omitted in the development of rewards and recognition programs.Those responsible for building rewards and recognition program aren’t the only ones with a limiting set of blinders on. Employee communications professionals, by default, overlook how such programs can inform employee communications plans and initiatives. These programs are a treasure trove of data that could be used in shaping employee communications messages, more effectively deploying employee communications tools/venues and setting refined expectations about sparking behavioural change.Employee communications and reward/recognition programs: natural alliesEventually, employee communications and reward/recognition programs will dovetail and work together on achieving their mutual goal of reinforcing desired behaviour and organizational core values. To get an inside scoop how and catapult your organization, check out The Swear Jar podcast episode, Carrots and Communications with our special guest Mike Byam, Managing Partner of Terryberry.Special offer**Special offer** – Win a copy of Mike Byam’s The Wow Workplace. Just send us an email with a story about how your organization’s employee communications work well (or not) with your rewards and recognition program. Send your story (under 300 words) to "Info@AcademyofBusinessCommunications.com.
17 minutes | Nov 8, 2020
Stuck in the Communications Drive-Thru Window
Episode SummaryThis week Andrew and Elizabeth talk about a fate that befalls even the best organizational communicators: the dreaded Drive-Thru Window. We don’t mean a literal drive-thru (but if working in one is your part-time jam, we don’t judge); we’re talking about when communicators are stuck in order-taking mode and cranking out tons of materials they know aren’t that good or aren’t that necessary.Of course, the issue is that communicators are frustrated because they know they can and should be doing more strategic work, but there just isn’t time when the requests just keep coming.We discussed four factors that can create ideal conditions for a drive-thru:· Processes that focus on output, rather than outcome· A misunderstood communication function· A poorly managed communications team· Inexperienced communicators who aren’t sure how to say noGetting out the drive-thru window can be tricky. There are a lot of things that communicators can’t control, like senior executives, budgets and pandemics. But there are things communicators can do to get back to strategic, useful work, including· Asking for help· Connecting the work to organizational outcomes· Interjecting strategy discussions into the process· Doing a communications audit· Getting their manager onside· Creating a project charter· Finding a senior leadership allyGiven the insane amount of communication going on in response to COVID-19, communicators have an opporutntiy in the coming months to remind their managers and their organizations that they bring strategic value that can support change and uncertainty. Key Topics· What is the Communications Drive-Thru of Pointlessness (1:00)· Why communicators find themselves in the drive-thru window (2:15)· Getting out of the drive-thru (9:00)· What we’re reading and liking (14:50)ABC Resources Highlighted in this Episode· Podcast: Communicators are COVID-19 SuperheroesOther Resources Highlighted in this EpisodeDownloads· The boss factor: Making the world a better place through workplace relationships by Tera Allas and Bill Schaninger, McKinsey & CompanyBooks· Ignore Everybody and 39 Other Keys to Creativity by Hugh MacLeod Join Our Community● Sign up to receive our news and tips ● Follow us on LinkedIn● Visit us at Academy of Business Communications
18 minutes | Oct 27, 2020
The Swear Jar - Greatest Hits (Volume 1)
Well, it's been a wild ride so far!In producing The Swear Jar podcast we've tackled the good, the bad and the truly ugly in employee communications/internal communications. But why would we do that? Because we are determined to provide practical and actionable insights to Employee Communications professionals --- across industries. And, we do that because, quite frankly, Fearless Communicators need tools and advice so that they can ensure that employee communications are awesome, aligned and authentic (...Btw, that's The Fearless Communicator's credo).So, in recording The Swear Jar podcast, we've welcomed authors, subject matter experts, other podcasters and editors -- and we've taken a few swipes at things that could be a lot better (like town halls and budgets). Our Greatest Hits (Volume 1) episode is a great place to start if you're new to The Swear Jar podcast. In this episode we briefly touch on nuggets of insight from 10 of our most popular podcast episodes, including:Over Communicating is Really StupidCommunications Can't Solve All Your Sh*tThe Culture-Communication ContinuumOnce Upon a Time (The Art of Stories and Storytelling)When Executives Suck at CommunicationsWhen Employee Communications Has No BudgetFacilitation in the New Real WorldShut Up and ListenSpeaking Truth to Bull Sh*tA Lawyer and a Communications Professional Walk into a BarLet us know what you think of this episode (or any of our episodes) by reaching out to us at info (at) AcademyofBusinessCommunications.com. Also let us know if you've got a topic/issue you'd like us to explore. Of course, if you've got some great insights, let us know if you'd like to be a guest on an upcoming episode of The Swear Jar podcast Finally, keep in mind that listeners can take advantage of discounts and prizes offered by our podcast guests and The Academy of Business Communications (www.AcademyofBusinessCommunications.com).
Terms of Service
Do Not Sell My Personal Information
© Stitcher 2022